Philosophy Professor reimagines merging street art and accessibility

NU philosophy and ethics professor Brian Glenney looks on as Malden, Mass. mayor Gary Christenson “edits” a city handicapped parking space.

What does it mean to be disabled in the public space? 

Philosophy Professor Brian Glenney  (a skateboarder and  graffiti artist) along with Boston-based colleague Sara Hendren merged street art, philosophy and accessibility; together they discovered the potential for redefining the future of accessibility.  “We wanted to reclaim an aspect of the built environment to provoke dialogue around individual agency,” Glenney says (Jacque E. Day, 2018). 

How did they achieve this?

Glenney transformed the static wheelchair symbol into an active body propelling the wheelchair forward. The duo began changing the static wheelchair symbol throughout Boston, using the stencil which Glenney had designed. Glenney’s original symbol now complies with International Organization of Standardization ISO requirements and is available for legal use around the world. This movement inspired the Accessible Icon Project—a global movement among disability self-advocates and their allies to amplify their voices through the microphone of design activism.


Philosophy Professor reimagines merging street art and accessibility
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