Welcome to the Shared Barrier-Free Apartment

Four paraplegics provide an insight into their daily lives in a staged apartment setting. The pretend residents, Matteo (17), Sarah (32), Stefan (41) and Christine (68), invite visitors in, so they can explore the living area and private quarters for themselves. Equipped with an audio guide, the guests can move freely throughout the exhibition. They see, hear and feel the challenges that the four wheelchair-bound residents have to overcome day after day. Among the residents’ key concerns are accessibility and being able to enjoy a social life.

The scientific content is cleverly incorporated in the touching life stories. There are separate areas for visitors who wish to learn more about the effects of different spinal cord injuries or hear about the latest forms of therapy. There is a wheelchair circuit giving visitors the chance at a hands-on experience of the challenges a paraplegic faces on a physical level.

Even the openness and transparency with which the injured individuals talk about matters close to them is remarkable and of great interest. Just as unexpected and awe-inspiring is how full of life the residents are.

Every other day, a person in Switzerland sustains a spinal cord injury. The open, emotional way the information is delivered throughout the tour, makes the visitors aware of the residents’ needs and allows them to meet on equal terms.

Facts & Figures
Nottwil, Schweiz
Swiss Paraplegic Foundation
Concept, planning, realisation
Exhibition «Lebenswege», 400 sq. m, 2019

Photos: Swiss Paraplegic Foundation