A Fresh Outlook on Life: A community blog

Helen Marie Szollosy encourages readers to take a fresh look at life. She advises people on how to see life situations from a perspective of gratitude and flexibility.

Adaptable Interiors!

Written by Ah! Ha! Helen | Jun 6, 2012 1:43 PM

I talk and write, a lot, about appreciating life in all its forms of expression.

I studied Interior Design out of Highschool; my final project an apartment building with 'visibly pleasing', non-hospital- looking, apartments for family members consisting of 'all life expressions' - no such thing as DISABILITY.  My only focus; 'how can I build or design this space so it's efficient and useable by EVERYONE that lives there - no matter how they were born into this world or may have physically, mentally, emotionally later changed'?

In the BUILDING world - there are STANDARDS based on what SOCIETY sees as 'THE NORM'.  I don't SEE ANY NORM, I don't even know who NORM is!  (that's my off joke) 

I don't like children slotted into PERCENTILES or 'averages'; being judged and rated against others. I was an honors graduate because of the brain that came with my body; but I am no better than anyone else. I say we are ALL LIFE EXPRESSING; not less than, not better than.

When I was studying interior design, the standards in building counter-top heights were for a 5' 5" person.  Average height clothing for women was based on that height, also.  If you didn't fit that 'average', you had to 'adjust to it' or 'hem the pants or skirt!' 

Back in 1978, I visited a commercial office furnishings store in Philadelphia.  There was a wonderful, space-saving designed unit for file cabinets!  It was floor to ceiling, and had a hand crank on the front to move the files from left to right, only ever allowing space for one 'aisle-way' to get to the files.  For example, it had 4 rows of files, but not 3 areas of walking space.  It made the most use of space for a small office! 

Another unit didn't have 'any' walking space, it used a robotic arm to file and retrieve the file from a box-like unit!

I have talked and written about there being 'no disabilities' in this world, just physical spaces designed for 'averages' and an 'imaginable Norm'.   I say to ADAPT and ADJUST the Office, Home, Shopping, and Driving spaces of our world to 'ADJUST' to the wonderful VARIETY of LIFE EXPRESSIONS on this planet!  There are NO DISABILITIES!

We have wonderfully creative minds with the ABILITY to CHANGE our OUTLOOK on how we design our living space!  In the space I designed, I created a dining table that folded up and against the wall to look like a piece of art work when not in use!  This allowed for freedom of movement within the living space!

Why not, like the office files systems, have cabinets and counter tops moveable, adjustable for varying heights and abilities!   Make the 'mountain come to Mohammed' instead of the human having to adapt and adjust to use the device?

I think it's time we stop FOLLOWING NORM.  Norm needs to expand, adapt, adjust to the variety of life expression on this planet.   Just think if the majority of human life form were born 3 feet tall, or without arms, or without legs?  Imagine how our buildings, dwellings would look?  Would we have steps at all?  Would we be swinging or rolling from place to place?  Would a person of greater height, with legs then be labeled Handicap or Disabled?

Makes you think?  GREAT! Look at Life Dwellings and Transportation from a PHresh Outlook!

Calling all architects, plumbers, electricians, designers, teachers, doctors to STOP FOLLOWING NORM and look at Life Expression as Life Expressing in a Variety of Ways! See the BEAUTY and FASCINATION of it all!

The challenge is on!  Appreciate LIFE in ALL its forms of EXPRESSION, stop LABELING and trying to make the square peg fit into the round hole.  

WE CAN DO IT! I KNOW IT! Norm is an imaginary creation.  Norm has left the building.  Norm couldn't adjust.

Here's a wonderful example! http://www.wimp.com/newdevice/     CELEBRATE LIFE!  Adapt, adjust, respect.

AH! HA! Helen - just BEing.

Published in Fresh Outlook on Life: A community blog

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