I wrote this yesterday for Tumblr but I like it so I'm reposting it here So I've been kind of obsessing over Solarpunk lately, and one of the keywords that's been highlighted as important is Art Nouveau. So I was browsing the results of Art Nouveau in Google Image search, and I started to notice something.
Art Nouveau fonts struck me as really similar in appearance to fonts designed for people with dyslexia, like OpenDyslexic. Like, they bulge in different places and stuff, and that's a really big deal when it comes to these fonts, but the point is that it looks like it'd be easy to take the principles of accessible font design for dyslexia and apply them to graphic design for a new generation of Art Nouveau inspired work -- like Solarpunk.
I love the thought that an aesthetic movement could have accessibility baked in like that -- not placing aesthetic over usability, or even working accessibility in despite the aesthetic goals -- I mean using the art style as the mechanism for accessibility.
Art is, at least partially, about taking up space in the world to make room for human experience as a priority. In this case, with this movement, that could be very literal.
And that got me really excited, because Solarpunk is so obviously equipped to be totally all about that -- I love the idea of Solarpunk planners and designers and architects keeping in mind as a real priority making their spaces deliberately pleasant, comfortable and helpful for people with disabilities, not just tolerably navigable to meet code. I love the idea of a basic principle of Solarpunk design being "Every human is worth the effort of significant care in design choices." The idea that accessibility is a form of beauty that the Solarpunk art movement prioritizes.
And it fits right in with the punk part of the movement, because it screams "Disability is what happens when you build a city to use its people, not for the people to use the city."