The final consultation with the art students was generally well received. We had finally reached a solution which in principle met their needs. The issues raised were fine tuning points, not the fundamental changes we had received at previous consultations. They were happy with the spaces we were creating, they were happy with the new working planes we were providing, and there seemed to be an exitment about how our proposal would change the working environment for the better.
Concerns about the accessibility of our proposal were raised, in particular how a disabled person would be able to use the central raised platform. In short, they wouldn’t. It is important then that we make sure that the structure isn’t discriminating, we need to ensure that is is clear that the space on the raised central platform is no different to the spaces created around the edge. The disabled person should feel like they can do everything that a fully abled person can do.within the space, as a group, we felt we had provided that. We all agreed that providing a ramp would not be feasible, the ramp would have been far too big for the space, totally undermining the concept.
The three most important moments of this process were the consultations with the art students. They knew what they wanted, they wanted functional wall space that would define boundaries and provide new working areas. I felt we spent too long second guessing their needs early on and whilst in principle we were on the right track there was so much that we hadn’t been able to witness about their needs.