This project was developed from Assistive Technology studio (Visual Braille) for Sound, Music and Technology class (Senses, Sound Experience). The assignment was about disabilities and their associated assistive technologies. Each person researched individual topic and my topic is Visual Impairment.
From my research there are plenty of devices to help blind people in their daily life but most of them aren’t about products that hold sentimental value like postcard or lyrics. We as designers try so hard to help make their life easier, but sometimes we forget that design isn’t only about solving the problem, but serves to illuminate the value of life.
I was fascinated by Braille, it’s cool to read with your finger. However, from the research braille isn’t that cool for blind people. It’s not fun or relaxed at all. Reading braille requires a specific skill and requires practice; it takes time to explain and translate all the information. Compared to a normal book, the Braille version might consist of half a dozen encyclopedia-sized volumes.
I was drawn to the idea of making a tool to empathize with visually impaired people. In short, I was looking to produce Braille that delivers a new message to us. Exploring how to slow down the speed we read at as much as possible.
The “Visual Braille Type” is designed, combining two senses, sight and touch. All information is readable by both blind and sighted people. The project attempts to explore the aesthetics of braille, establishing a closer connection in a literal way between both readers.
The final product at this moment is a postcard produced and inspired by music lyrics. The reason being is because music (sound) is the common ground for both sighted people and visual impaired people. From there, Jiho and I developed this project into a turntable. Collapsing touch and sound, closing the connection between both audiences.
Senses, Sound Experience
The “Senses Turntable” is a medium that gives you a choice to experience a special dimension of sound by using your sense of touch and hearing with the Visual Braille. When fingers touch each letters on the vinyl, the scratching sound start and our sense of hearing arises. At the same time, while we are slowly moving our fingers, as a pencil draws a line of sound waves. From then, this creation led to the emergence of new imagination. When the energy of the sound moves to our ears, we are then covered by the spiritual experience of this sound methodology.