The Last Word: Corgan’s Hugo Team Dons High-Tech Suit to Walk in Teachers’ Shoes

Dallas architecture firm Corgan is taking an unconventional approach to studying the challenges faced by teachers with disabilities: donning a high-tech suit that simulates a range of physical limitations.

“Our goal is to reduce the empathy gap…”

Corgan’s Hugo research and innovation team
.…on their $30,000 grant from the American Society of Interior Designers Foundation to study the experiences of teachers with disabilities, via LinkedIn.

With a $30,000 grant from the American Society of Interior Designers Foundation, Corgan’s research and innovation incubator, Hugo, will partner with the firm’s education sector to “uncover actionable insights to promote inclusive design strategies for schools.”

A study will see researchers using a gerontologic (GERT) suit to simulate conditions like temporary injury, pregnancy, sensory sensitivity, arthritis, and diabetes. While wearing the suit, the team will conduct experiments at a Corgan-designed elementary school in North Texas.

“By wearing the GERT suit, educators without disabilities will be able to provide feedback and help identify opportunities for targeted design interventions to better support their peers,” Corgan said.

The goal? To reduce the “empathy gap” and create universally accessible spaces that foster growth, engagement, and connection for all teachers.

The insights gleaned from this unorthodox study will be compiled into an open-source design guidebook, with Corgan hoping to pioneer scalable, inclusive design solutions for schools nationwide.

Read more here.

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