What Can a Body Do?

How We Meet the Built World

hardcover, 240 pages

Published Aug. 18, 2020 by Riverhead Books.


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5 stars (2 reviews)

Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR

A fascinating and provocative new way of looking at the things we use and the spaces we inhabit, and a call to imagine a better-designed world for us all.

Furniture and tools, kitchens and campuses and city streets--nearly everything human beings make and use is assistive technology, meant to bridge the gap between body and world. Yet unless, or until, a misfit between our own body and the world is acute enough to be understood as disability, we may never stop to consider--or reconsider--the hidden assumptions on which our everyday environment is built.

In a series of vivid stories drawn from the lived experience of disability and the ideas and innovations that have emerged from it--from cyborg arms to customizable cardboard chairs to deaf architecture --Sara Hendren invites us to rethink the things and settings we live with. What might assistance …

1 edition