School of the Art Institute of Chicago professor Bess Williamson speaks about the role of disability rights activism in influencing design.

Bess Williamson is an historian of design and material culture, focusing primarily on works and influences of the last half-century. She received her PhD in American History from the University of Delaware, and holds a Masters in the History of Design and Decorative Arts from Parsons The New School for Design/Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. She is particularly interested in social and political concerns in design, including environmental, labor, justice, and rights issues as they shape and are shaped by spaces and things. Her current book project, Designing an Accessible America, traces the history of design responses to disability rights from 1945 to recent times.

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