Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

21st century advances in engineering and technology have lead to the creation of the most fascinating design and architectural projects ever imagined. However, in this desire for progress, we often forget about the psychological and even architectural barriers that some humans face when considering living and working in these amazing spaces.  For some people, these barriers are true obstacles, for others they become an enticing challenge to better this world of modern design to ensure that all can access and take equal enjoyment of it. The development of projects that fully consider accessibility from the initial concept stages is an important and major concern for many architects. Most important today is establishing an open communication regarding these issues and their vital importance. We bring you an interview between two prominent experts of architecture who explore the issues and advantages of pushing professionals to think in a more holistic approach to universal access.

Here, Mimi Zeiger, professor, author, founder of loud paper currently, freelance writer and contributing editor to Architect magazine, talks to Michael Graves, globally renowned architect, and household name through his designs for Target stores. Michael, after suffering a health incident that paralyzed him from the waist down, utilized his disability as a vantage point from which to create more accessible architecture and product design. Drawing from his personal experience, Mr. Graves advocates greater access to spaces and products for all humans in a relatable and functional manner that never loses the joyful touch of great design. Read More …

It’s early afternoon when my taxi pulls up in front of a boxy clapboard building in Princeton, N.J. Michael Graves, FAIA, keeps a number of studios on this tree-lined street. I worry that I haven’t made it to the right one, especially when I’m welcomed by three wooden steps leading to a small porch. As far as I can tell, there’s no accessible ramp or lift, and I can’t ascertain how Graves—who’s used a wheelchair since 2003, when a spinal infection left him paralyzed from the chest down—gets to work. Read More …