By: Alicia Luthy
Hello all! Today I decided to write some more about my design thesis and some of the details a dual-impaired school entails. There are many important factors to take into consideration when designing for the impaired. Attention to detail is very important in order to produce a successful project. Typically, architecture is most commonly experienced through the eyes. When vision is not present, the others senses become heightened within a space. Such people with these impairments have special architectural needs that need to be met such as navigation, orientation, egress, and other pathways. These needs can be met through other senses such as temperature, sounds, smell, taste, memory and other senses. With a variety of textures, lighting, and materials a successful project can be met.
When designing for students with impairments the layout is very important. The layout will not be the same as if it was being designed for a typical elementary school. Orientation and mobility is one of the most important things when designing for the dual impaired. Children learn through their environment and the way they move through it. One of the goals with my design thesis is to create a functional layout for the different levels of impairments. For the visually impaired, it is important to not create obstacles and lots of corners. The solution to this is to design guides to help them navigate the building. Landscaping is also very important for a dual-impaired school. Children with impairment can often feel overwhelmed or get easily frustrated. It is important to have spaces where educators can take the children to call down. Materiality helps differentiate pathways and the spacing between materials and sidewalks joints also can help a student with navigations. The closer the spacing can indicate how close the student may be approaching a building or space. Also, different materials can help the students learn in different ways. The other senses will be heightened throughout the design in order to create a successful project.