Walking: A lifestyle?

Walking: A lifestyle? is the latest in a series of multisensory tours programmed at the Design Museum, London, and was held on Saturday 3 October.

Walking: A lifestyle?

Investigating the sense and smell of shoes and the lifestyle of walking, this tour explores the current Camper exhibition, LIFE ON FOOT, taking us through the shoe-making process before closing with a walk in the local area.

Camper: LIFE ON FOOT.
This is the first exhibition of the Spanish footwear brand Camper, who in celebrating 40 years of shoe-making in the island of Mallorca, is showcasing their traditional shoe-making skills and contemporary design practice, giving visitors an insight into the processes involved in the design and manufacture of their shoes. Laid out in 7 sections, the exhibition covers Designing, Making, Materials and meaning, Communication, History, Global and Life on foot II.

The display:
As you step through the entrance, you note the distinct smell of rubber, dominating the look and feel of the exhibition. Rubber is a key component for making shoes and black rubber was used in covering much of the display units and the activity space. The other thing you almost immediately feel is the sense of scale and height, something that was quickly noted by some of our visually impaired participants.

Camper at the Design Museum
At the entrance to the Camper exhibition.

Walking through the Designing section, the display of shoes on the left shows a range of lasts, soles and uppers, all of which are not touchable. To the right, as you go through the Making section, you note a display of tools and different materials. Along the room towards the Materials and Meaning section is a display of a variety of Pelotas, one of Camper’s most successful shoes, the name Pelotas in itself meaning ball. Uniquely, all Pelotas have 87 balls on their soles.

Several videos show the manufacturing process, with one in particular showing over forty stages of footwear production, from drawing and pattern-making, all the way to molding, kneading, stitching and packaging. An extensive display of Wabi, a pioneering shoe that explored the potential for sustainability in footwear, shows Camper’s experimentation with different materials. Cork, polypropylene, wool, mint, lavender leaf, coconut and upholstery were used as a composite to make the uppers for Wabi. Though not financially viable for the company, this was a very innovative approach to some of their design and production processes. Also on display were swatches of various types of natural and synthetic upper materials like leather and nubuck, where the different textures, thickness and weights could be felt.

Over-view of the shoe-making process:
The opportunity to review the shoe-making process was a very valuable part of this tour. Several of the participants noted that getting a better understanding of how shoes are constructed was fascinating, something they thoroughly enjoyed. Using the Activity space, we benefited from the expertise of Diana Mashigo, a Footwear designer and Pedorthist, who gave an in-depth presentation of the many stages involved in the design and making of bespoke shoes, some of which we see below.

Drawing the outline of our feet  Cast of the feet The shoe-making session Foot skeleton

Image 1: Drawing an outline of the foot is the initial stage when taking detailed measurements. Using the same principle, taking a foot print using a Harris Mat will show the varying areas of pressure on the soles of the feet, enabling a bespoke maker to create footwear specific for the users needs.
Image 2: This is a cast of a person’s foot. A bespoke last can be created from the mold.
Image 3: This was a verbal description of the importance and relationship between shoes and foot health. Here, you see two of the participants.
Image 4: The foot skeleton shows the anatomy of the foot, with the facilitator explaining how the foot functions. The lasts (the yellow and wooden foot-shaped items on the table) dictates the width, shape, heel height and size of the shoes.

The tour closed with a walk in the local area, taking-in the views of the south-side of river Thames. For many, walking is a natural part of moving around, while others include walking as part of their exercise routine. Others find walking can be great mental stimulus, sometimes taking inspiration from the views along their walk.

Whatever you do with walking, we know it is a great part of our well-being. Next time you take a walk, reflect on what it means to you, and make observations of how it influences the way you feel.

Camper: LIFE ON FOOT, continues till November 1 2015.

The next multisensory tour at the Design Museum, Displacement and Migration, is scheduled for Saturday January 9 2016, from 2pm.
Booking information will be published in Design Museum’s website Access page.

Top two images used permission of Design Museum. All other images are by MaMoMi. 2015

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LUMO at Design Museum: Exploring Light and Sound

The multisensory tour at Design Museum, titled Light, Sound and the Built Environment, which took place on Saturday 11 July, used new technologies in the museum’s collection and current exhibitions to explore the senses of light and sound, and how technology has in itself been used to improve our lives. Among the devices explored were Lumo, Leaf Light, Light Scores and the Responsive Street Furniture.

The multisensory approach allows us to communicate in ways not previously appreciated, enabling a richer, more valuable experience for users. These tours take an objective approach to interpretation and involve our participants in an engaging and insightful dialogue around the object explored. We believe that interpretation should be about sharing and learning through exploration.

Lumo at Design Museum 1
Visually impaired participant using LUMO.

About LUMO:
LUMO is a small, portable and affordable real time graphic reader which enables blind and visually impaired to read shapes, graphs, diagrams and colour directly from paper, textbook or sketch book. It converts black lines into vibration and translates colour into sound. On our live test during this tour, we found that it was particularly useful for blind people, especially those with no colour or light reference.

Designed by Anna Wojdecka in 2013 and first exhibited at the Royal College of Art show in 2014, LUMO was specially developed to enable blind people read and draw shapes, graphs and diagrams and also recognise colours. Even though its still in early phases of development it has already been recognised by users, RNIB and the health tech industry for its capacity to change lives and open up new fields of study to the blind and visually impaired, and for its innovation and inventiveness. The model we tried was the prototype, as seen above, but the final design will look like this, in the image below.

Lumo prototypeLUMO reads the surface of a page and translates graphical data into tactile and sound feedback. It converts black lines into vibration and colours into sound tones. Each colour calibrates to a different sound pitch, allowing the blind person identify the various hues of colour. For a first time user, you will have to make the sound reference to each colour, for example, the single tone is a primary colour (yellow, blue or red), while the double tonal sound comes from secondary colours (green, violent and orange), the mixture of primary colours. On the colour chart we used, you noticed that blue has the lowest pitch and yellow was the highest. The other colours have double tones because they represent the sound of the 2 or more primary colours used to make up that colour. Watch the video below to see and hear Lumo in action.


LUMO designer Anna demonstrates how it works.

When exploring black lines or colours, the LUMO creates a vibration. The black and white LUMO reader vibrates to indicate lines. Our visually impaired participants were very impressed with the use and functionalities of LUMO and are also aware that the device is still in development.

LUMO is an affordable real-time solution which makes existing learning environments more inclusive, as well as enriching the interaction between blind and sighted students.

Lumo at Design Museum 2

If you are keen to explore how LUMO works, or want to plan a multisensory tour around the LUMO device, please feel free to contact us via email at info@mamomiinitiative.com.
You can also contact us via twitter at @mamomi_i


The next multisensory tour:
The next multisensory tour at Design Museum is scheduled for October 3 2015, and titled WALKING: A LIFESTYLE? This tour will explore walking as a lifestyle and will include a session exploring the shoe-making process, as well as a walk around the local area. Booking information will be published on Design Museum website soon so please keep watching for details.

Design Museum Tour LUMO at Design Museum
All LUMO images used by permission. 2015
A special thank you to Anna Wojdecka, designer of LUMO, for co-facilitating this tour.

LIGHT, SOUND AND THE ENVIRONMENT: A new Design Museum multisensory tour

The Design Museum have designed a new series of multisensory tours and the first one in the series is scheduled to hold on Saturday 11 July 2015.

This July multisensory tour, titled Light, Sound and the Environment, will explore how light and sound have been used to identify colour, and how we in turn respond to objects and items in the built environment.

Design Museum Tour. July 2015

The Design Museum continues to offer exhibition tours to its blind and visually impaired visitors, and this multisensory tour gives the opportunity to engage with objects from the museum’s Designs of the Year 2015 and Collection Lab.

Light, Sound and The Environment takes place on Saturday 11 July 2015, at 14:00.

To book on this tour, please call +44 (0)20 7940 8782. You can also view their website for more information at www.designmuseum.org

Tours are available free of charge, including museum entry, for groups of 2 – 6. Please call to discuss any specific needs.
The tours last approximately 1.5 hours and take place in the exhibition space.
Tours must be booked in advance.

Image and information used in collaboration with The Design Museum, London.

Met workshop for kids with visual disabilities | September 28: 2-3.30pm |

Programs for Visitors with Disabilities

 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, holds a Met workshop for kids with visual disabilities this weekend.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art welcomes all visitors and affirms its commitment to offering programs and services that are accessible to everyone. The Met’s Picture This! Family Program is for children ages 5-17 with visual disabilities and their families.

Date: Sunday, September 28, 2-3:30 pm
Theme: Made from the Earth
Explore objects made from the earth through detailed descriptions, touch, and other sensory activities. Create your own clay artwork to take home.

These workshops support multiple areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum, including orientation and mobility, social skills, independent living skills, recreation and leisure skills, and sensory efficiency skills.

Booking: This program is free, but registration is required. Register now! Or contact The Met for further information. Call (212) 650-2010 or email access@metmuseum.org.

Visit www.metmuseum.org/events/programs/programs-for-visitors-with-disabilities for more information.

 

Note: All information used permission of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Copyright Metropolitan Museum of Art


 

LOUIS KAHN: The Power of Architecture

Exploring Access:

LOUIS KAHN Poster

9 July 2014 – 12 October 2014

 

This show at the Design Museum is in its last few weeks of display, and presents the work of one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century, Louis Kahn. Kahn’s early work focused on housing and urban planning, gaining a reputation in the 50’s as an architect of public buildings.

For visitors who are visually impaired or blind, the Access programme can explore a variety of narratives, giving the viewer an opportunity to look at the influence of architecture in our community, explore building design and possibly create a model of one of the iconic buildings Kahn designed. The exhibition has several drawings, prints, videos and models that can be the center of a very engaging discussion.

Kahn envisioned the house as an institution: the smallest architectural entity, from which society and built surroundings are experienced.” – Design Museum

Self-Portrait with a Pipe.  

Graphite on bond paper

Collection of Sue Ann Kahn.

This exhibition presents Kahn’s work within the framework of six central themes including the Eternal Present (which addressed fundamentals of spatial order and formal composition), Community, House (which Kahn envisioned as an institution: the smallest architectural entity, from which society and built surroundings are experienced), Landscape, Science, and City.

Structure, I believe, is the giver of light.” – L. Kahn

Levy Memorial Playground, New York.

Louis Kahn, Isamu Noguchi.

Levy Memorial Playground, New York.

1961-66

Study Model, version 5

Bronze.

At a time when modernism had become a formula of flat roofs, and bland facades, Kahn found a way to give contemporary architecture the spiritual qualities that it had lost in the pursuit of over simplified functional demands.” – Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum

When the work is completed, the beginnings must be felt.” – L. Kahn

About Access at Design Museum.

DesignMuseumTOUCHTOURSimage
Design Museum Touch Tour in progress

The Design Museum aims to make access to design enjoyable and welcoming to the widest possible audience. Whether you’re taking part in the dedicated Access programme or just popping in for a visit, the museum does everything it can to make sure your experience is enjoyable.

Use this link to view the Access page on the Design Museum website, which includes BSL Tours and Touch Tours: http://designmuseum.org/plan-your-visit/access


 

EXPLORING ACCESS.

EXPLORING ACCESS.
Access at the Design Museum: July 2014.

The Access programme at the Design Museum offers its blind, visually impaired and deaf visitors the opportunity to explore the museum’s permanent collection or special exhibitions with highly skilled museum educators, providing detailed and engaging experience of the works on display. The Design Museum is the world’s leading museum devoted to contemporary architecture and design, pioneering new thinking in design through its programme of exhibitions, events and learning projects.

DESIGNS OF THE YEAR 2014.
Closes on 25th of August.

DESIGNS OF THE YEAR 2014 is an exhibition that offers viewers the opportunity to review the last year in Design. Celebrating the very best across seven design disciplines, nominees were placed in categories ranging from Architecture, Product, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Digital and Transport. On show are items like the CHILD CHEMO HOUSE, KOBE in the Architecture category, through to the XL1 CAR designed by Volkswagen in the Transport category. Within these are a variety of objects and products to learn about and be fascinated by.

“These show the best of design, from initiatives in technology or materials to design that helps make life easier, safer or more stimulating. Which is your favourite nominee?” – Gemma Curtin, Curator, DESIGNS OF THE YEAR 2014.

The show is displayed on the second floor of the museum and there is easy access for wheelchair users via a lift that takes you from the ground floor. You travel through various themes like Care, Situation, Delight, Thought and Connect, with a clear view of the display and various items that can be touched.

For this publication, we will take a brief look at just a few items on display.

CLEVER CAPS

Designed by Claudio Patrick Vollers (Co-inventor & Designer) and Henry Suzuki (Co-inventor)

“Clever Caps are bottle caps which also work as building blocks. They can be collected and used on their own, but are also compatible with the world’s most popular building blocks. In this first commercial version, they were designed to fit PCO 1881 standard bottle necks, and include a tamper evident safety seal.” – Design Museum.

The Clever caps is fun, movable, changeable and adaptable. I see the younger visitors really enjoying this product.

THE SEABOARD GRAND

Designed by Roland Lamb and Hong-Yeul Eom

“The Seaboard is a reinvention of the piano keyboard, re-imagining the keys as soft waves that enable continuous and discrete real-time, tactile control of sound through three-dimensional hand gestures. The design combines contemporary minimalism and traditional handcrafted quality.” – Design Museum.

I like this one particularly because of its multisensory feature, as you play the keys through soft, silicone surface and can hear the sound through several headphones. This redesign of the piano allows a more intuitive control of the sound experience.

XL1 CAR

Designed by Volkswagen

“The Volkswagen XL1 becomes the world’s the most efficient liquid-fueled production car with an official combined cycle figure of 0.9 l/100 km (313 mpg) and an aerodynamic drag coefficient of 0.189. It requires only 8.4 PS to sustain a constant 100kph on a level surface in still air, a speed the car can reach from rest in 12.7 seconds.” – Design Museum.

The smooth curvaceous form and sleek lines around this car, and its aerodynamic shape, helps reduce drag and is equally good looking.

THE NEW CREMATORIUM AT THE WOODLAND CEMETERY

Designed by Johan Cesling

“Built on an undulating terrain in a wild wood section of the Woodland Cemetery, the New Crematorium features exposed white concrete and white glazed bricks in a building which is at once robust and sensitive.” – Design Museum.

The organic features of this product lends itself to greater exploration. The colour and texture of the brick used matches the building materials.

PAUL SMITH SHOP FACADE

Designed by 6a Architects.

“The cast iron used for this facade references London street furniture and creates a sharp contrast to the neighbouring Georgian townhouses. A sinuous pattern of interlocking circles puts an abstract spin on a classic Regency shape, while curved windows nod to the glass in nearby arcades.” – Design Museum.

Hidden in the facade is a Paul Smith drawing cast in the surface. This facade uses cast iron, a material with great thermic values.

Booking a tour:

To book a touch tour of this exhibition, please contact the access team via email at access@designmuseum.org or telephone 020 7148 6883.

View the Design Museum website at www.designmuseum.org

Next month, we will be reviewing LOUIS KHAN: THE POWER OF ARCHITECTURE, currently showing at the Design Museum.

 


 

Access Audience briefing.

TheDesignMuseum

The Design Museum, Shad Thames, London.

Question: Would you like to learn a bit more about museum signage and way finding?

Question: Why is it important to create a clear and concise way finding system in cultural institutions that best applies the build environment?

The Design Museum invites an Audience panel to attend a briefing on museum signage and way finding.

The plans:

Design Museum is relocating from its current location in Shad Thames, near Tower Bridge, to the former Commonwealth Institute building, High Street Kensington, in 2 years time. Current and potential visitors are being invited to find out more about plans for the new museum.

New Design Museum Time-lapse. December 2013.

Video courtesy Design Museum, London.

The museum has developed its signage and way finding strategy with consultants Cartlidge Levene. Now the museum would like to invite some of their audiences to learn what this strategy might look like and to also take questions.

Audience feedback:

The museum is running this audio-described briefing and questions session for blind and partially sighted visitors, and volunteers from the museum’s audience panels. The session will be held at the current Design Museum (near Tower Bridge) on Tuesday 11 February, from 10.30-12.30. Public travel costs will be reimbursed for attendees and alternative transport arrangements can be made where necessary.

If you are interested in attending or finding out more about this session please contact access@designmuseum.org or telephone 020 7148 6883.

The aim is for a cross section of participants and these sessions have a limited capacity so do respond quickly if you’re interested. Please get back to the Access team by Wednesday 5 February.

Image

Image Designworkplan, Netherlands.

Audience Integration in Public Arts venues: Accessibility.

Image

Supporting Accessibility in our various communities and amongst diverse interests through the arts, design and other Media platforms ultimately creates a more Accessible society. 

It is a known fact that the ageing population is increasing and greater longevity plus the increased numbers with known and recognised disability means there is an urgent need to tackle some of the issues surrounding Access and Inclusion.

Attending the Audience Accessibility Models for Performing Art Spaces seminar, held at the Daryl Roth Theatre 2, East street, New York, on the 7th of October, gave me an opportunity to gain more insight into the various approaches, policies and strategies currently in place to improve Access.

This event was co-sponsored by Art Beyond Sight and the Inclusion in the Arts, and brought together recognised arts and disability experts, arts professionals, government agencies, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) specialists, program directors and disability advocates, sharing best practices and resources for performing arts spaces.

______________________________________________________________________________

 Begin with the end in mind” – Stephen R. Covey

______________________________________________________________________________

It is crucial to understand exactly what is desired and what is possible as we continue to unravel some of the issues surrounding Accessibility. The above quote by Stephen R. Covey was used by Elisabeth Salzhauer Axel, founder and President of Art Beyond Sight (ABS), at the close of the seminar.

As we aspire for greater independence for our disabled community, “we all need to listen to the needs of the community and employ the various or multiple ends to fulfil these goals.” – Elisabeth Salzhauer Axel.

Below are a few excerpts and key texts taken from speakers at the seminar.

Speakers:

Julia Pinover is Senior Staff Attorney in charge of Disability Rights Advocates’ New York Office.

“Many of our public accommodation breaks the law by not providing effective communication and suitable seating arrangement.”

The law requires that:

Sight-lines in theatre seating should be comparable to the general public;

We cannot discriminate against people with disabilities, and there are no excuses for denying or segregating them;

We cannot deny someone the right to sit in a performance;

We cannot serve persons with disability with a separate benefit not available to others.

 

John McEwen is the Executive Director, New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

“When you are developing your Access programmes, always have long-range plans.”

Access programme providers should:

Include self-assessments to assess programme, services and facilities;

Create and provide non-discrimination policies (Policy statement);

Find out what more we can do to provide a better service;

Be encouraged to create a grievance procedure to resolve any disputes;

Be encouraged to share Advisory boards across organisations (for developing plans and strategies).

 

Jason R. Mischel is currently the Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel, New York City Mayors Office for People with Disabilities.

“We need to make the experience of people with disabilities as best and full an experience as other people are afforded.”

A lot of old buildings do not have appropriate seating and many have very poor sight-lines;

There are differences in the kind of facilities needed as some blind and deaf people have a variation in the tools needed.

 

David Sweeney is Executive Director of the Healing Arts Initiative, formerly known as Hospital Audiences.

“Removing barriers can be challenging.”

Many people have compound disability;

Cultural venues who are non-responsive have incomplete conversations;

We need to remove isolations and cultural divisions;

People need Education (informed perspectives) instead of the ignorance currently observed.

 

Christine Bruno is an Actor, director and coach.

“ADA compliance does not mean the venues or cultural institutions are Accessible.”

Accessibility has to do with communication;

We all need to keep the lines of communication open.

 

Beth Prevor is the co-founder and Executive Director of Hands On.

“Access should be about Audience up, not compliance down.”

The Ethos and ideology should be about improving Access;

We need to develop a centralised calendar for Accessibility programmes;

The experience is about communicating the experience and sharing the experience.

Other speakers included Frances Black, Director of Programs at A.R.T/New York; Lisa Caring, from Theatre Development Fund’s Accessibility Programs (TAP); Heidi Latsky, Artistic Director of Heidi Latsky Dance; Rachel Reiner, Senior Manager of Membership Services and Education Programs at The Broadway League, Inc; David Harrell, Actor, Speaker and disability Advocate; and Alexandria Wailes, Actor and ASL Consultant.

In summary, is this was a successful seminar, openly discussing Accessibility and Inclusion issues, and sharing best practice in Performing Arts Spaces and other Cultural institutions. It is clear that lines of communication need to be kept open not only between public accommodation providers, cultural institutions and their audience but also within the various disability audiences.

It has been stated that cross-institutional collaborations should be viewed as key to the success of removing barriers and improving Access because relevant information, expertise and resources can be shared by all responsive institutions, which will make this knowledge readily available and shared.

There is still a lot that can be done to educate front-of-house and Museum staff, the Managers, collections Curators and Directors on the issues around Accessibility, not only in the arts but in our lifestyle choices. The policies set up by government, and the practices upheld by cultural institutions, organisations and other responsive institutions can be equally supported by front-of-house staff and their management structure.

At the end of the day, the greatest concern and interest we currently have regarding Accessibility is about Audience Integration. 

We shall continue this goal with the end still in sight.

Audience Accessibility Models in Performing Art Spaces was co-sponsored by Art Beyond Sight and the Inclusion in the Arts

Access at the Design Museum, London.

The Design Museum, currently based in Shad Thames, London, recently started an Access programme with the goal of serving and opening-up its collection to visitors with disabilities. The current focus is with visually impaired and hearing impaired audience.

The Design Museum’s main focus is on exhibitions exploring mass production and new technologies, and has a unique collection that represents this ethos.

This collection helps us understand the world around us, investigating how design impacts our lives and also how the use of designed objects influences ongoing developments in design and manufacture.

As the wider landscape of ideas and debate continues to grow, it is great to see the collection at the Design Museum is now open to these discussions, while also looking at how design is relevant to people and the society.

The Touch tour of the Anglepoise lamp. Image used permission of Design Museum.

Access: 

This programme offers its visitors the opportunity to look at any one (or several) of the six design stories currently displayed, holding UK’s only collection devoted exclusively to modern and contemporary design and architecture.

On Sunday the 6th of October 2013, the first Touch tour took place. At this session, led by Andrew Mashigo and supported by Aimee Taylor, Design Museum Learning Officer, participants physically explored 4 objects in the permanent collection. 

Read Accessing the Design Museum blog, on Designerly learning, for the introduction to the Visitor Engagement programme at the Design Museum.

Process:

The Design Museum permanent collection is called Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary Things and it is within this collection that the Access programme will revolve around. We explored the Anglepoise lamp, British coins, Magno Radio and the Captivate light. The process of the touch tour allowed for us to view and explore the Anglepoise lamp, an iconic product first designed over 80 years ago by Automotive engineer George Carwardine. 

Mr Carwardine’s speciality was in vehicle suspension systems and that research eventually led him to develop a pre-tensioned spring, allowing the lamp to be moved in any direction while crucially keeping the lamp stable. This design feature gives the Anglepoise its unique profile.

Making actual object identification, identifying the various parts of the lamp and the uniqueness of its parts (springs, stand and lamp shade), the difference in the surfaces and temperature, its weight and materials all made the tactile experience a fun one. Plus the participants were able to share their valid views on this object and the others explored, and their value to our society today. All in all, a very fun and engaging tactile experience. 

Contact

To book on these bi-monthly tours, please email Aimee via aimee@designmuseum.org

The next tour is scheduled for Sunday 1 December.