Critical Design Lab
Aimi: They // Them // Theirs
Jarah: They // Them // Theirs and She // Her // Hers
Kevin: He // Him // His and They // Them // Theirs
[ID: A collage of three headshots. 1) Aimi Hamraie, an olive-skinned Iranian transmasculine person with short dark curly hair, wears rectangular glasses, a plaid jacket over a blue collared shirt. 2) Jarah Moesch, a person with short brown hair and glasses wears a patterned shirt and looks into the camera. 3) Kevin Gotkin, a white person with a brown beard and brown glasses, looks back at the camera over their left shoulder. They wear a grey beanie hat, a black mesh shirt, and a light denim vest adorned with colorful feathers on the back.]
Nashville, TN and Troy, NY and Lenapehoking (Brooklyn), NY
2022 USA Fellow
This award was generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Critical Design Lab is a multidisciplinary disability culture collaborative. As queer disabled, sick, and neurodivergent designers, its members combine a commitment to disability justice with the aesthetics of accessibility and interdependence. They work in the critical design and social practice traditions to challenge assumptions about accessibility and participation embedded in media.
Through its disability culture–centered media and events, Critical Design Lab practices accessibility as a creative, world-changing phenomenon that interrogates white and nondisabled design and media. The collaborative creates open-access participation protocols, curating experiences of access making in which collaboration itself is an artistic practice. Projects in its more than six years of partnership include Remote Access, a curated dance party showcasing disability cultures of participatory visual arts, music, image description, and American Sign Language interpretation; Contra*, a podcast on disability and design that reimagines podcasting itself through accessible content and form; Crip Ritual, a curatorial design project that will result in two simultaneous exhibitions of disability arts in Toronto (2022); and Mapping Access, a social practice project using digital mapping to imagine accessible futures.
Critical Design Lab has had its work featured at the Allied Media Conference, at numerous academic conferences, and in media outlets such as The New York Times and Art in America; it has also fostered additional collaborations with the Allied Media Project, Disability/Arts/NYC, and other organizations.
Portrait photo courtesy of the artists.