Deaf Awareness Week Bulletin: So, what is Deaf Space?

A 46 second clipping to get you started: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcSnNMSkbf4
 
Deaf Space was introduced by architect Hansel Bauman, a speaker at the 2006 Graduate Hooding exercises at Gallaudet University.  Bauman said that he and his brother, Dr. Dirksen Bauman, a professor in the ASL and Deaf Studies Department, Dr. Benjamin Bahan, '79, also a professor in the department, and others from the deaf community often have long conversations about the interaction between architecture and cultural studies. (Gallaudet Today, Spring 2007).  
 
To think a little about deaf architects—the first person comes to mind is Olof Hanson.  Olof designed buildings at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, Gallaudet University (Dawes House), Illinois School for the Deaf, Mississippi School for the Deaf, North Dakota School for the Deaf, and Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, where Olof taught.  Olof also designed the Minnesota deaf club, which is known as Thompson Hall, built in 1916.  
 
Olof designed space that responded to visual-centric individuals and modern discussions are based on how he had designed his buildings.  Olof was a pioneer in his field and what he had done is revolutionary in modern design.  During the time of his work as an architect, he had experienced discrimination which prevented from other people from seeing what work he had to offer at the time.    
 
In a 1908 letter to President Theodore Roosevelt urging the cessation of discriminatory practices preventing deaf people from gaining employment, including not allowing them to take the U.S. Civil Service Commission examination for federal government jobs, Hanson wrote eloquently:  
 
“My greatest obstacle is not my deafness, but to overcome the prejudice and ignorance of those who do not understand what the deaf can do.” 
 
(Visionary Leaders, April 2014 Gallaudet website)
 
Another video second you tube to consider viewing and discussing (almost 5 minutes).  This video expands on the features of Deaf Space (connecting to the photo above):  
 
Ask yourself and each other these questions:
 
How do you think the learning space should be in our classrooms or how can we enhance the Deaf Space in our classrooms?
 
How would our residential areas promote a sense of Deaf Space?
 
Have you ever went to a restaurant or a social gathering place and feel the space did not maximize the experience?  Have you ever wondered why?  Or why do some spaces appear to be your preference?  And why do we always congregate to the kitchen?
 
What do you think about the distance required for parallel signing?  Does it make sense?  Do our space allow for parallel signing to take place?
 
Where on our TSD campus do we find Deaf Space? 
 
As a student, what do you want to do to contribute to the forward thinking of Deaf Space?  
 
It is stated that blue and greens will usually contrast with most skin tones to reduce eye strain.  Thinking about our current school environment, what do you find is the usual color in our surroundings?  Do you see that we put more strain on our eyes than we need to?  How can we change that?  
 
As our our campus master plan is in the works, what do you think should be the emphasis when it comes to Deaf Space?  [Consider attending to the Wednesday TSD Campus Master Plan to reflect further about Deaf Space and the TSD Master Planthe forum is at the MPR, starting at 6 to 7:30pm.]