A creative arts-lab for the visually impaired
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Citation:Salapura, A. (2019). A creative arts-lab for the visually impaired. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland. New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4857
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4857
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can architecture help in designing a place for learning, teaching and being active for non-visuals which becomes a place of experiencing multisensory architecture for the sighted? ABSTRACT: Many people regard vision as an important sense in the human body. Our eyesight allows us to view the world around us. But what is architecture for an individual who cannot see? In what manner may we perceive our environment if we put aside our dominant sense of sight to focus on the other senses that we infrequently connect as we walk through a building? In order to cater to those who cannot see, this research project aims to provide the design of a building especially for the visually-impaired population which will also be used by sighted individuals. The research project asks: how can architecture provide a learning, teaching, active and reposed environment to the visually impaired population who wish to learn creative arts and other activities of their choice? This research project addresses the above questions through literature-based study, precedent analysis, site visits and meetings with individuals who work with blind and partially sighted individuals. The book The Eyes of the Skin by Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa, on the five senses and the analysis of buildings by Rem Koolhaas such as the Seattle Public Library gave insights into how architecture is perceived by all the five senses. All of these explorations have led to certain criteria that have become the starting point of the research and its process. In contrast to the usual narrow interpretation of the relationship between vision and architectural space, this project aims to understand those strategies that are used to enhance the use of other senses and their contribution to the quality of spatial experience. The project also shows a scenario where blind individuals teach the sighted and vice versa. This project involves an exploration into multisensory architecture and its experience for the sighted population as well. The intent is to expand the methods of design for architects and to bridge the line between the visually-impaired and sighted individuals. Thus, the design of a Creative Arts-Lab for the low vision or visually impaired population in New Zealand can be made plausible through a range of design strategies. These strategies results in a design which gave an outcome of a multi-sensory architecture in the project.