Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Studio: Explorations in Blindness

This Summer Studio is going to be a blast! I am finally working on a project that has meaning beyond cardboard boxes and perfume bottles.

My choice of tool was not easy. Having deliberated the options for weeks, I was pressed to find something that I felt truly needed designed, not just for the sake of design, but to have a real substantial impact on the life of the user. After all, isn't design about people? (I'm asking for a debate ;)

I am now currently working on a perceptual device for the blind, though not a power tool in the proper sense, it will fulfill my course requirements, and make my work rewarding.

I chose this project because of what I see as an underwhelming amount of real design in current products for people encountering disabilities. In particular, the symbolic white cane (used as a mobility tool by the visually impaired) is badly in need of rethinking. The current market is saturated by a hand full of models that , though functional and affordable, say nothing about the person holding it and look as if created by a mob of med students and engineers. Some of them have pseudo-ergonomic handles made from molded plastic. Even without a truly deep understanding of vision-impairment, I can see that there is much that can be improved with the status quo.

Check out my newly constructed DIY light blocking googles-

I plan to get into character this week, and really find out what its like to live without sight. I still have so much to learn.

1 comment:

  1. BWAHAHHAHA.... I've followed you! :) Hope your blindness project's going good!