Transensational Objects: A pedagogical experiment on inclusive design
MIT Architecture collaborates on a class with the Perkins School for the Blind toward new methods for accessibility
Maroula Bacharidou (teaching fellow, MIT Department of Architecture) and Athina Papadopoulou (PhD candidate in computation, MIT Department of Architecture) worked together to offer this class at the MIT International Design Center.
"While at Perkins, MIT students toured the campus to experience the sensory qualities that help the blind students orient themselves in space: the echo of spaces that are built in different heights or with different materials, the tactile symbols that are engraved on the walls, and the smells coming from the flower gardens. They also had the opportunity to learn about the history of Perkins: the different modes of tactile communication developed throughout history, and significant contributors to the education of the blind. Finally, they visited the different specialized spaces on campus: from the gym, where they ran blindfolded around the special running track; to the playground with the multisensory bend that also functions as a musical instrument; to the fabrication shop where members of the Perkins staff make customized furniture and assistive devices for its students.