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Can blind people make great architects?

Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL has been running an architecture workshop for people with visual impairments

The Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL ran an architecture and design workshop for people with visual impairments this summer. Photograph: James Green
The Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL ran an architecture and design workshop for people with visual impairments this summer. Photograph: James Green

Rachel Hall

Visualise yourself entering a new building. What do you notice first?

The answer for most people will probably be the internal structure, the colour of the walls, the light entering through the windows. But stay a little longer and you might start to experience the space differently: you’ll hear sound reverberating, you’ll feel air currents, textures and materials, you’ll smell wafts from the kitchen.

For blind people, this multi-sensory experience is their first impression of a space. And now a new programme is trying to harness that unique ability by training more visually impaired people to become architects.

As the first step in running a foundation course aimed at people who see things differently, the Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL ran an architecture and design workshop for people with visual impairments this summer.

“Going to start an architecture degree as a visually impaired person is so horrendously daunting, there’s so much that’s inaccessible,” said one of the students on the five-day course, Poppy Levison, who is about to start studying at Central Saint Martins.

“I’ve been brought up to analyse spaces,” she says. “I remember my vision support worker when I was four asking: ‘Is it better if the window’s behind you in the classroom?’ It’s something I’ve always been asked to think about.”

Read on >>> Source: The Guardian Can blind people make great architects?

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