The key theme of Jos Boys’ Doing Disability Differently is to reframe dis/ability.
Koolhaas Houselife is a documentary in which a cleaner is seen having to haul her vacuum up a tight and enclosed spiral staircase in a villa in Bordeaux designed specifically for a wheelchair user, which is pointedly aimed at getting the attention of the ‘able-bodied’ visitor (for whom every other aspect of society is designed).
Architectural Review notes, ‘This house needs celebrating, because it goes beyond assuming disability is only about accessibility and compliance, treating it instead as a central design generator. But it is also troubling. Despite making a powerful commentary on disability, the project both reproduces disability and ability stereotypically as an unequal binary relationship (albeit reversed) and treats it as a ‘one-off’ − as an issue specific to this building because of its client − rather than building on any wider understanding or more general design approach.’
Universal Design suggests that in designing for people with a disability, we design better for everyone. The key here the universality of the design and the message
Excerpt of Koolhaas Houselife on Vimeo