Beyond Wayfinding : Sensory Focused Design for the Non-Sighted
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While visually oriented architectural design has long been used to enhance the perceptions that shape the world of an existing ocular-centric norm, this has led to a less than satisfactory experience for users with less-than-optimal visual abilities. Today’s urban environments have evolved to become sensorially overloaded resulting in a chaotic and overwhelming situation that is difficult for wayfinding in the absence of sightedness. Existing code-based requirements are barely sufficient for most spatial applications but tend to be seen as the maximum requirement by architects and urban designers. This thesis explores the potential of carefully adding other sensory means to enhance the overall spatial experience of the sight challenged population, with a broad focus on wayfinding. The thesis proposes possible approaches for designing architecturally enhanced sensory experiences. The research is aimed toward providing new design strategies for architects and urban designers as methods of engaging a non-sighted or partially sighted user alongside the sighted users to experience the space more clearly and deeply with their senses. While the universal language principles and existing techniques of traditional touching and tapping are studied as initial references, the final research comprises the integration of senses dealing with qualities of tactility, hapticity, auditory, olfactory and navigation related instances of architecture that can be globally applied. The thesis proposes a set of design strategies that have been developed through personal experiences that when applied to smaller-scale scenarios give rise to a predictive language. The strategic design layers are referenced from personal sensorial experiences and are illustrated within two smaller-scale integrated spaces of a pop-up market and a park with gardens, non-contextual in nature. It would be intended that these two scenarios would form a base point to demonstrate the potential effectiveness of the strategies to form a departure point for more global application in other scenarios.
Cite this version of the work
Ashwati Teresa Joseph (2022). Beyond Wayfinding : Sensory Focused Design for the Non-Sighted. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/18792