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Tactile Maps, Kensington: More Than Just Wayfinding.

Article: Andrew Mashigo, MaMoMi
Contribution: Loz Simpson, Topografik
Contribution: Mrs Shirley Long, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
January 2019

The South Kensington and Kensington High Street stations both have tactile maps installed at the stations. The tactile map at South Kensington station is located just outside the station, on Thurloe Street, off Exhibition Road. The Kensington High Street map is installed in High Street Kensington station. To locate it, walk towards the gates and on your approach, it is situated in the corner on the left, just before the ticketing machines.

WHAT ARE TACTILE MAPS?
Tactile maps are images that use raised surfaces so that a visually impaired (VI) person can feel them. They are used to convey non-textual information such as maps, with tactile map symbol conventions for pictorial information sharing. Symbols are chosen as the first focus since they are the features that represent the geographic reality and data.

Image description: Image depicts the robust three-dimensional tactile map featuring colour-coding, raised letters, symbols and braille. The raised letters and braille are finished in grey colour, the park and open spaces are depicted in green colour, the buildings in purple, the roads in dark blue and bus stops are marked with round yellow symbols.
The tactile map has specially designed lectern style stand
Image credit: The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Image description: Image depicts the robust three-dimensional tactile map featuring colour-coding, raised letters, symbols and braille. The raised letters and braille are depicted in grey colour, the park and open spaces are depicted in green colour, the buildings in purple, the roads in dark blue and bus stops are marked with round yellow symbols. The map is installed on specially designed lectern style stands.

Tactile images, maps and touch installations enhance the experiences that people with sight difficulties have, making their visit more engaging, informative and stimulating, allowing greater independence and inclusion. – RNIB Tactile Maps and Maps 2015 Brochure

THE COMMISSION
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC), working with Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), and designed by Topografik, produced these robust three-dimensional maps featuring colour-coding, raised letters, symbols and braille. The raised letters and braille are depicted in grey colour, the park and open spaces are depicted in green colour, the buildings in purple, the roads in dark blue and bus stops are marked with round yellow symbols.

The story with the tactile maps in Kensington started with the Exhibition Road project. One of the things RBKC agreed with Guide Dogs for the Blind was to provide some form of wayfinding for blind and partially sighted people to get around the Exhibition Road area.

Most maps are designed and produced for a more utilitarian purpose. Maps represent something, often a portion of the real environment or a collection of data or ideas within that environment. The map user often must interpret qualitative and quantitative data represented on the map as well as the symbology that is actually representing those data. This sounds relatively straightforward, but map reading is a complex task, one that requires the reader to interpret the meaning of symbols and then understand the spatial distribution of those symbols. Sometimes the spatial distribution focuses on tangible features such as a street network and other times the spatial distribution focuses on intangible phenomenon such as population density. – Journal of Blindness and Innovation Research. Vol 5, No 1 (2015)

The mapmaker understands the data to be represented and then chooses the most appropriate mapping method. One of the goals of cartography production is to make the map use as efficient and effective as possible.

Tactile maps contain meaning that must be deciphered and transformed by the map user and if the same feature (a symbol representing water, for example) differs from tactile map to tactile map, then every time a tactile map reader uses a new tactile map, they will have to spend time studying and comparing the map key to the map itself, rather than attending to the geography in the map. On examining both Kensington maps we agree that they are really both effective, informative and immensely valuable.

THE EXHIBITION ROAD MAP
Many people including colleagues in Cultural and Heritage institutions assumed that the tactile map projects were initiated by Transport For London (TFL) because they are located in the stations. That is unfortunately not the case.

The Exhibition Road Map was commissioned by Shirley Long, on behalf of Kensington and Chelsea. Mrs Long is a Special Projects Consultant for Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC). Our understanding is that London Underground do not want to instal any more of the tactile maps, which we feel is really unfortunate. But I am reliably told that does not mean Kensington and Chelsea will not find locations outside of the stations.

We started looking at the RNIB “Maps for All” which is a layered coloured plastic map recognised as a standard wayfinding tool, but a “Map for All” would not withstand outside use so RNIB recommended a metal sculptor who had worked with them on other projects. – Loz Simpson, Topografik

RBKC set up a small working group including RNIB, Guide Dogs, blind and VI users and together produced a map everyone was happy with. It is a multi-layered etched zinc map with coloured areas, large raised lettering and Braille. It was the first of its kind. It sits on its own specially designed lectern style stand outside South Kensington station. RBKC took advice about the height and angle of the stand from RNIB and mobility groups.

Image depicts a close up view of the tactile map, looking closely from the top left side. There is a guide dog to the right with the dog handler wearing a blue Guide Dogs tee shirt, and with the man's right hand feeling the map. We can clearly see the raised letters, symbols and braille on the map.
Image credit: The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Image description: This Image depicts a close-up view of the tactile map, looking at it from the top left side. There is a guide dog to the right with the dog handler wearing a blue Guide Dogs tee shirt, with the handler’s right hand feeling the map by using his palm. We can clearly see the raised letters, symbols and braille on the map.

Image depicts a group of visually impaired people, volunteers and staff standing around the Exhibition road tactile map for a group photograph. They are all smiling. There is also a guide dog on the right of the picture. The dog is looking towards the camera.
Image credit: The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Image description: This Image depicts a group of visually impaired people, RNIB and Guide Dogs volunteers and staff standing around the Exhibition road tactile map for a group photograph. They are all smiling. The guide dog is on the right of the picture and looking towards the camera.

THE KENSINGTON HIGH STREET MAP
The Kensington High Street map is actually in High Street Kensington station and was installed in March 2018. Unfortunately, the map had to be mounted on a wall and tucked away in the corner inside the station because of space constraints. And because of this, it is difficult to spot and many people do not find it as accessible as they would have liked.

Just like the tactile map on Exhibition Road, this tactile map of Kensington High Street, for sight and touch, uses colour-coding, raised letters, symbols and braille to identify buildings, roads, open spaces and bus stops along Kensington High Street.

I was actually really concerned that the location of the tactile map at the High Street Kensington Station was known to only a few London underground users, and many regular VI station users were surprised to be told of its existence at our Sensory Trail of Kensington in August 2018.

Another observation was that the area was not well-lit meaning a VI person with some vision will also struggle to read and use the map visually. I brought these to the attention of Mrs Long, the project consultant.

I agree with your observations about the location of the Kensington High Street map. It is far from ideal but we were very restricted by London Underground who had the final decision on the location. Originally, we intended to put the tactile map on the pavement outside High Street Kensington station but the heavy footfall in the area coupled with a narrow pavement prevented this. This is why it had to be mounted on the wall. – Shirley Long, Special Projects Consultant, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Image description: The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, working with Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Royal National Institute for the Blind, produced this robust three-dimensional map featuring colour-coding, raised letters, symbols and braille. The raised letters and braille are finished in grey colour, the park and open spaces are depicted in green colour, the buildings in purple, the roads in dark blue and bus stops are marked with round yellow symbols.
The tactile map of Kensington High Street, installed inside the station.

Other than those observations, all our VI participants felt this tactile map will help visually impaired users, including those with guide dogs, wheelchair users and other visitors, to map their way around Kensington High Street. They all felt the symbols and colours worked very well and that there was a good consistency in what they understood to be universal design practice and requirements.

The image depicts a visually impaired person touching the tactile map with his right hand. He is feeling the raised letters that read Open Space.
A Visually Impaired participant touches the tactile map of Kensington High Street.

Image description: The image depicts a visually impaired person touching the tactile map with his right hand. He is touching and feeling the raised letters that read Open Space.

We believe that the tactile maps project is a really wonderful project. The maps are informative, relevant and valuable, and can potentially change the experience of VI commuters and the way people use outdoor spaces.

The tactile maps enhance the experience of VI users and can be used as a signpost, a point of orientation and landmark. They are more than just another wayfinding tool, they are an engaging source of information and independence. – Andrew Mashigo

More investment needs to be put into creating more tactile maps so we can have them installed in many prominent locations around the city of London. On my travels to Exhibition road, I have seen the map engaging and being used by sighted travellers, a sign of their value across the community as a whole.

CREDITS
We want to extend our sincere gratitude to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Topografik for their support in providing information and images for this article. We also like to personally thank Loz Simpson of Topografik and Shirley Long, Special Projects Consultant, RBKC, for all of their assistance.

Image Credits:

Royal National Institute Of Blind People (RNIB)

Royal Borough For Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC)

Topografik

Guide Dogs For The Blind

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Home Futures: Living in Yesterday’s Tomorrow

A multisensory Tour at Design Museum

Saturday 12 January 2019

This is an image of Bocca Sofa, 1970. It was designed by Studio 65 for Gufram. The Bocca Sofa, or Red Lip sofa as it is famously known, was based on artist Salvador Dali's original design, itself inspired by the lips of iconic beauty Marilyn Monroe. This is a kaleidoscopic fusion of pop art, conceptual art and modernist design. It is bright red in colour and made from polyurethane material and chromed metal as the support frame. It is 85 cm high, 212 cm wide and 80 cm deep. It comfortably sits 3 people.

Image: The Bocca Sofa, 1970. Designed by Studio 65 for Gufram.

HOME FUTURES Exhibition
The home of the future has long intrigued designers and popular culture alike and this Home Futures Exhibition Immerses us in a series of dreamlike passages and rooms exploring yesterday’s visions of the future.

We know that the home incites an emotional world and is not just a physical place or space. It is a place that can also define us. It is also not something that we own but it has actually become a commodity that few can really own or afford. The changing values of people in our society also express itself in how we are now more interested in access rather than just ownership. And by access, we refer to access to power, influence and recognition.

Walking through avant-garde speculations displayed alongside many contemporary objects, more than 200 objects and experiences in this exhibition that trace key social and technological aspirations that have driven change in the home.

The walls are painted white, with ceiling lighting and spotlights above and good lighting throughout. On the morning of our visit, there was an issue with the lighting levels been a bit low, but that did not impact the experience of the space. Some displays were set in wall units and plinths while many are installed independently on the floor. The rooms did not have any distinct smell other than the warmth of the installation.

Acoustically, this space was a myriad of sounds and digitally sourced conversations. Sounds coming from video installations in different rooms seem to converge in the space as we moved through it, but the sound bleed was only a concern when we congregated close to or between the sound installations.

The exhibition was set in 6 different themes, exploring different focuses on various concepts, domestic behaviours, design ideas and modular furniture systems.

Below is an image of the Gufram Cactus, 1972, designed by Guido Droco and Franco Mello. This is a green cactus shaped coat hanger standing at 7 feet tall. On the top of the Cactus is Andrew’s Fedora hat. That photo shoot request was by one of our visually impaired visitors.

Gufram was once a small production company responsible for the most iconic pieces of Italian radical furniture and is now famous for merging art and design. Their Bocca Sofa or Red Lip sofa, the featured image for this blog, was based on the artist Salvador Dali’s original design, itself inspired by the lips of iconic beauty Marilyn Monroe. This is a kaleidoscopic fusion of pop art, conceptual art and modernist design.

This is an image of the Gufram Cactus designed by Guido Droco and Franco Mello. This is a green cactus shaped coat hanger standing just under 6 feet tall. On the top of the Cactus is Andrew's Fedora hat. That photo shoot request was by one of our visually impaired visitors.
GUFRAM CACTUS, 1972. Designed by Guido Drocco and Franco Mello

Living With Others
This section explores the way in which we negotiate privacy in the home and the impact media has on domestic behaviour.

Living On The Move
We see how modular systems merged furniture with infrastructure, using simple forms and muted colours to frame furniture as a tool rather than a possession. An example is a modular toilet that can be easily converted to a bathroom or bedroom!

“Design comes from the heart and the brain, to cuddle the soul of people and improve life for the best, the livelihood of people.” – Alex Iberti, CEO Gufram.

Living Smart
This section traces the modernist ideal of the ‘home as machine’ and pairs it with the contemporary vision of the ‘smart home’. We see the principles of labour saving by using connected devices that use our data to deliver function.

Living With Less
One recurring ideal of the 20th century was that housing shortages could be solved with fully fitted home units and micro-living solutions. Less space in urban areas resulted in the emergence of hybrid furniture like the sofa bed, folding tables and integrated storage.

This is an image from the Living with less display. Here Andrew explains how the minimalist metal installation operates.
Andrew explains how the minimalist metal installation works. Next to him is a VI having a closer look at the installation.

Below is the Bench, After Judd, 2014, with visually impaired visitors standing around the bench and a few sitting on the bench. This bench confuses the role of the horizontal surface because at 12 cm high and around 4 foot wide, it can function as a seat, a table and a flooring unit. The rug on the bench is a multicoloured rug with blocks of colours in a geometric form. This gives it a mondrian-like look.

The wooden bench was at room temperature but the metal support was a little bit colder but the overall object retained its warmth. The rug was soft, with the stitching along the coloured patterns providing a tactual ridge.

This is the Bench, After Judd, 2014, with visually impaired visitors standing around the bench and a few sitting on the bench. This bench confuses the role of the horizontal surface because at 12 cm high and around 4 foot wide, it can function as a seat, a table and a flooring unit. The rug on the bench is a multicoloured rug with blocks of colours in a geometric form. This gives it a mondrian-like look.
BENCH, After Judd, 2014. Designed by Andrea Zittel

Living Autonomously
This section explores self-reliant models of domestic life that are environmentally responsible and often anti-consumerist. The idea was that an open-source system allowed anyone to make furniture and basic household appliances with parts and tools that can be reused.

Below are the VI visitors touching and sitting on the Single Bed designed by Enzo Mari. In this image, Bernard from the Design Museum explains an aspect of this easy to assemble furniture that can easily be converted to tables, chairs, bookshelves or wardrobes.

The single bed had a well-finished surface, without the worry of splints. the mattress was firm and felt well-constructed and durable. The plant in this image is artificial, with a smooth feel to touch.

In this image are VI visitors touching and sitting on the Single Bed designed by Enzo Mari. In this image, Bernard, the producer of Adult Learning at the Design Museum, explains an aspect of this easy to assemble furniture that can easily be converted to tables, chairs, bookshelves or wardrobes.
VI visitors sitting on the Single bed by Enzo Mari. Bernard, the producer of Adult Learning at the Design Museum, can be seen here explaining aspects of the bed design.

Domestic Arcadia
Some designers emphasise the home as places of irrational and emotional needs, and surreal interiors conjured idyllic landscapes, bringing natural, biomorphic forms and landscape elements into the home.

Below is the FRAME 03 from 2017 and designed by SO-IL. This stainless steel bench with a metal ring chain or mesh structure that is the sit can sit up to 7 people. The industrial material used to make this frame furniture does not reveal its function, at first sight, leaving it open to the imagination.

The mesh structure that creates the sit almost feels like a cobweb that cradles, and though it is cold to the touch because it is made of stainless steel, it feels like a piece of outdoor furniture that will work well in the garden in the summer.

The designers call it an exploration into aporetic architectural furniture, which we can interpret as characterised by an irresolvable internal contradiction or logical disjunction.

This is an image of the FRAME 03 from 2017 and designed by SO-IL, with several VI visitors sitting on it and others standing around it. This stainless steel bench with a metal ring chain or mesh structure that is the sit can sit up to 7 people. The industrial material used to make this frame furniture does not reveal its function, at first sight, leaving it open to the imagination.
The FRAME 03, 2017, by SO-IL.

THE WORKSHOP
After the tour, we went up to the Creative workshop to discuss the exhibition. The workshop activity included exploring some samples of objects from the exhibition and we also took the time to share ideas of what we want the home of the future to be like, for us as individuals and people with specific access needs.

What should the home of the future look like, for me?

Several VI’s reflected on the exhibition and explored ideas of what they would want to have as functional ideas for future home furniture. Today’s future thoughts and ideas can easily be an experience of tomorrow.

VI visitors can be seen sitting around the table and having a discussion in the Creative workshop. On the table are drawing materials like pencils, coloured pens, marker pens and A3 size papers.
VI visitors can be seen sitting around the table and having a discussion in the Creative workshop
A VI visitor is exploring one of the sample materials from the exhibition
A VI visitor explores one of the sample materials from the exhibition.
A VI assisted by a companion explores the material sample from the exhibition
A VI assisted by a companion explores the material sample from the exhibition

The Home Futures exhibition continues until 24 March 2019.

CREDITS

Multisensory Tour Facilitator: Andrew Mashigo

Tour Programmer: Bernard Hay, Producer Adult Learning

Large Print Guide: MaMoMi Initiative CIC

Copyright © The Design Museum 2019

Andrew Mashigo. MaMoMi Initiative. January 2019

Featured

Sustainability and Materials: a DOTY 2018 Exhibition Tour Extract

Beazley Designs of the Year 2018
Design Museum, London
Tour date: Saturday 10 November 2018

The Design Museum’s Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition annually celebrates the best of design and its practitioners. Grouped under twelve “headlines”, this 11th edition of the exhibition highlights the immediacy of design and shows how designers are tackling new technologies, generating new visions, and responding to social trends and global events, sometimes with a sense of ambivalence, but always with optimism about our ability to shape the present and the future.

On this multisensory tour, we explored a range of projects from six categories, selected from Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport design. This tour concluded with a workshop activity that included discussions and a handling session.

Sustainability was the theme that ran through a majority of the exhibits selected for this tour, particularly the first three displays, and we felt it would be valuable to share some thoughts and findings from research for the tour. This blog focuses on those first three projects presented at the tour.

Sustainability and Materials: an Introduction.

There is a rampant global growth in the way our society is currently treading the road to the extinction of mankind, something that we all have a responsibility to fix. There are now more people on the earth living off it’s depleting resource and we all have to think about and plan for new and sustainable ways of living off the earth. The question is, what are we going to do about it? What changes and adaptations are we willing to implement and what measures are we going to put in place?

Here are a few projects from the Beazley Designs of the year exhibitions tackling the issue of environmental waste and pollution.

The Plastic-Free Supermarket Aisle

BDOTY Banner image
Image: The plastic-free supermarket aisle | Category: Graphics
Designed by A Plastic Planet and Made Thought for Ekoplaza
Image credit: Design Museum

Recyclable or biodegradable materials like glass, metal and cardboard are used to create sustainable materials for our daily use. This goes a long way to create a more sustainable environment, tackling serious issues like the deluge of plastic waste that is currently threatening our environment and the ecosystem.

Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza has opened the world’s first plastic-free shopping aisle, with a plan to expand the programme to all of its 74 stores by the end of the year. The aisle features more than 700 products packaged in recyclable glass, metal, cardboard and biodegradable containers, all clearly signposted by the “plastic-free” logo designed to be clear and simple.

In order for a product or material to be truly described as sustainable, it has to be environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. These aspects are known as the Three Pillars of Sustainability.

Discussion points:

Sustainable materials are derived from eco-friendly resources

Eco-friendly resources include sustainably grown fibre crops

Eco-friendly also refers to how these materials are made.

The Ecologically Responsible Denim Jacket

Denim Jeans
Image: The D-Staq RFTPi denim jacket | Category: Fashion
Designed by G-Star RAW

Denim brand G-Star RAW has developed the world’s first Cradle to Cradle certified GOLD G-Star denim fabric which is made out of 100% organic cotton. During production, the cleanest indigo dyeing technology was introduced, using 70% less chemicals, no salts and producing no salt by-product during the reduction and dyeing process.

The most sustainable and responsible washing techniques were developed to ensure that 98% of the water will be recycled and re-used, and the other 2% will be evaporated.

Discussion points:

This is made out of 100% organic cotton

It uses the most sustainable and responsible washing techniques

98% of the water will be recycled and re-used.

ZOA™, a Bio-Fabrication Project

Zoa Graphic T Shirt at Moma
Image: ZOA leather t-shirt grown from collagen
Designed by Modern Meadow
Image credit: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York

Zoa™ is a new collection of products made of bio-fabricated leather, which replicates the texture and suppleness of natural leather without using any animal products. Instead, the material is grown from collagen, natural leather’s main component, but in this case, derived from yeast. As well as eliminating the slaughter of cows, and the environmental impact of raising them and tanning their hides – an often toxic process itself – Zoa’s bio-leather opens up new design possibilities, including shapes, densities and other properties not previously possible.

This solution is a whole system design through innovation and a bio-diversity approach. A small part of the innovation is creating designs using liquid leather that can be moulded into the desired designs, without the need for stitching. Liquid leather provides the ability to morph designs, to take any shape, and combine with other materials.

Discussion points:

Bio-fabrication unlocks the power of nature to offer new design possibilities

A pioneer of bio-fabrication, Modern Meadow believe that the multidisciplinary collaboration between design, biology and material science can lead to smarter ways to make evolved materials

Leather is unique for its strength and stretch, and its aesthetic appeal but the process of creating leather is still dependent on animal skins

Businesses involved in the production of leather have long complained about the problems with the supply chain, the fallibility of the material, waste in the process, and unpredictable weather can also lead to price volatility.

A lot of the waste is due to the irregular shape of animal hides, coupled with scars and insect bites, meaning up to 30 percent of animal skins regularly goes to waste.

Modern Meadows biofabricated leather
Image: A close up of Modern Meadow’s bio-fabricated leather
Designed by Modern Meadow
Image credit: Courtesy

In the early days, Modern Meadow grew skin cells to create leather but the company has since refined its approach. They now use a fermentation process to brew collagen directly. Their scientists have bio-engineered a strain of yeast that, when fed sugar, produces collagen, which is then purified, assembled and tanned to create a material that is biologically and perceptibly almost indistinguishable from animal leather.

Today, the global leather goods business is worth over $100 billion a year and produces everything from car seats to luxury handbags but the process of creating leather is still dependent on animal skins. Leather is unique for its strength and stretch, not to mention its aesthetic appeal and links to powerful cultural archetypes from cowboys and aviators to bikers and rockers. And yet raising and slaughtering the billions of animals whose skins feed the leather supply chain each year is inefficient, cruel and comes with huge environmental impact.

The irregular shape of animal hides, coupled with scars and insect bites, can mean 20 to 30 percent of animal skins regularly go to waste. Bio-fabrication meant dealing with reliable quality material in a reliable shape and size — and that is beneficial for business. Modern Meadow’s technology also allows customers to bring processes like dyeing and finishing into the formation of the material, unlocking additional efficiencies.

But while Modern Meadow plans to bring a finished good to market within two years and might one day compete with traditional leather suppliers on cost, its product — still in the research and development phase — is currently far more expensive to create than traditional leather.

“I don’t think we’ll ever look to compete with the commodity end of the spectrum. This is not about price competition,” explains Andras Forgacs, Modern Meadow co-founder and chief executive. “I think our materials in the near-term will be competitive at the luxury end of the market.”

For the rest of the multisensory tour, we discussed the Mobike, a minimalist bicycle for sharing; the Quicksee, a portable eye test kit designed by PlenOptika; and the new pound coin designed to be counterfeit-proof.

Images: The new Pound Coin, the Mobike bicycle, and the Quicksee kit.

The workshop session at the end of the tour was our opportunity to further discuss the tour and explore some handling objects from the museum’s handling collection.

OUR NEXT DESIGN MUSEUM TOUR
Exhibition title: HOME FUTURES
Date: SATURDAY 12 January 2019
Time: 11:00 – 12:30

What to expect:
Explore today’s home through the prism of yesterday’s imagination. Are we living in the way that pioneering architects and designers throughout the 20th century predicted, or has our idea of home proved resistant to real change?

The Design Museum
224 – 238 Kensington High Street
London W8 6AG

Contact the Design Museum on +44 (0)20 3862 5900 or the Bookings Office on +44 (0)20 3862 5937
Monday to Friday 10:00 to 17:00

CREDITS
Text for Zoa™ leather: © 2018 The Business of Fashion
Multisensory Tour Facilitator: Andrew Mashigo
Tour Programmer: Bernard Hay, Producer Adult Learning, Design Museum
Large Print Guide: MaMoMi
Copyright © The Design Museum 2018

#designmuseum #DOTY #tour #access #sustainability #materials

Ferrari: Under the Skin, A Multisensory Tour.

Venue: The Design Museum, London

Date: Saturday 17 March 2018

Edited Images.Ryan prince_12

Image: Visually impaired participants can be seen exploring samples of upholstery materials used in the making of Ferrari car seats.

The Tour

The FERRARI: UNDER THE SKIN exhibition commemorates Ferrari’s 70-year history and explores Enzo Ferrari’s inspirations, original photography, hand written letters, original drawings, and some cars from this iconic car brand. This tour for visually impaired visitors was an excellent opportunity to understand Enzo’s inspirations and to see the design and development processes that went into creating some truly remarkable cars.

The exhibition is dedicated to detailing the remorseless drive of Enzo Ferrari to create the perfect driving machine for track and road. There are 14 cars in this exhibition and our road map was to focus on a few models that carry a distinctive thread through the Ferrari history, allowing us to discover Enzo Ferrari’s passion and the continuing development of the Ferrari brand.

We looked at the 125S, the F40, an original 1:1 scale model of the J50, and the LaFerrari Aperta. This tour was also unique as we were able to deliver two tours on the same day, a testament to the popularity of the Ferrari exhibition.

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Image: Ferrari 125 S | Image Credit: Design Museum

The 125 S was the first Ferrari, an extraordinary achievement in an Italian economy devastated by the 2nd world war. This is the only existing official replica, built in 1987.

FerrariFact – Enzo Ferrari was 49 years old when this car was created.

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Image: Clay Model of the Ferrari J50 | Image Credit: Design Museum

Displayed here is an original 1:1 scale hand-crafted clay design model of the J50 which was made in 2016 in a run of only 10 cars to celebrate 50 years of Ferrari in Japan.

Experimenting with special modelling clay was first discovered in the United States in the 1920’s. Unlike normal clay, the water phase of the material was replaced with waxes and oils so that it remained soft enough to work with but firm enough to keep its form, an essential property which meant it did not dry out or harden too quickly.

The clay is initially built up more thickly than the dimensions given so the final shape is generated by a process of subtraction. Modellers continually work closely with the car designers, adjusting and appraising the car’s form as it develops.

An additional advantage of clay is that it is also possible to add material back on after it has been removed, so the process of creating a perfect car is both iterative and collaborative.

Ferrari flow line visualisation

Image: Flow line visualisation | Credit: Design Museum

Wind tunnel testing is the traditional method for developing racing car aerodynamics. Tunnel testing helps to visualise airflow over the bodywork, providing design solutions that reduce drag. Potential flow instability issues can also be resolved as accurate modelling of real world track conditions can be mimicked, providing opportunities for design solutions that can bring high-speed stability.

Fine detailing of aero sensitive areas of the car can produce substantial gains in performance and the Ferrari full scale wind tunnel test facility in Maranello allows the aerodynamicist the best opportunity to fine-tune geometry without the worry of scale effects.

Edited Images.Ryan prince_07

Image: Andrew can be seen describing the flow line visualisation

Ferrari logo_01

Image: Ferrari logo | Image Credit: Ferrari Corporate

The Ferrari logo with its iconic Prancing Horse symbolises Italian luxury, exclusivity, performance, design and quality the world over.

According to Enzo Ferrari, after he won the 1923 circuito del Savio in Ravenna, he met the famous Count Francesco Baracca, father of the world war 1 Italian ace pilot Francesco Baracca, who had died in 1918. Ferrari also met the pilot’s mum, Countess Paolina Baracca, who suggested that he should put on his cars the prancing horse that her son had used on the side of his plane, as she thought it would bring him luck.

The original “prancing horse” on Baracca’s airplane was painted in red on a white cloud-like shape, but Ferrari chose to have the horse in black. The black color signified the grief of Baracca’s squadron after the pilot was killed in action. Ferrari’s engineering department adapted the horse so that it balanced on one leg with its tail pointed upwards.

The letters S F (Scuderia Ferrari) was initially engraved at the bottom but by 1947 the letters S F had been replaced by the Ferrari name. Then Ferrari added a canary yellow background as this is the color of the city of Modena, his birthplace. The logo is crowned with green, white and red strips, which symbolize Italian national colors.

The font of this logo is stylish and effective, highlighting the brand features of the manufacturer.

The featured car, the Ferrari F40

ferrari-f40-pics-18941

Image: Ferrari F40 | Image Credit: Ferrari Corporate

The F40 was conceived as a special car to commemorate 40 years since the very first Ferrari – the 125 S. Enzo Ferrari suggested that the company did something special ‘the way we used to do’.

When the F40 was eventually announced in 1987 its Pininfarina designed body took everybody’s breath away. It was raw and mean, a car that looked like a racing model. The F40 model title was derived from “F” for Ferrari and 40 represented the fortieth anniversary of Ferrari car production. It was also the last new car presentation attended by Enzo Ferrari before his death in August 1988.

Edited Images.Ryan prince_18

Image: Andrew describes the unique features of the F40 to several visually impaired participants. The image shows the rear of the car and it’s distinctive rear wing.

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Image: LaFerrari Aperta in production | Image Credit: Design Museum

Designed for Ferrari’s most passionate clients, the LaFerrari Aperta is the new limited-edition special series model, and just 350 models of this spider version of the acclaimed LaFerrari supercar will be built.

This hybrid combines an electric motor and battery system to give a striking performance boost as well as a reduction in fuel consumption. The LaFerrari displayed in this exhibition is a white one. We normally associate all Ferraris with their trademark red colour, called “Rosso Corsa”, but buyers nowadays have a multitude of different finishes to choose from.

The workshop session.

For the workshop session, the Ferrari F40 was our model of choice. Workshop participants were able to take some of the ideas and thoughts from the tour into this session. We also had vector drawings and a 1:18 scale model to help with our attempts to create clay models of the F40.

Understanding how to convert drawings, the 2D phase of design, into more complex 3D one is key to judging volume and proportions on a real model. It is also useful for determining the car’s surfaces and for the insertion of fine details like the lights, doors and rear wing.

We were able to create a good number of clay models which looked great, especially as many were made by first-time clay modellers. We had tools like Surform blade, slicks and spatula to help clean up the surface but not really enough time to fully benefit from their use.

What was quite remarkable is the way all visually impaired participants were able to partake in the making process and how we could feel the surfaces and intersections in the clay models, observing the harmony of the shapes and the quality of the surfaces.

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Image: Visually impaired participants at the creative workshop waiting for modelling clay to be used in the making session. Andrew is assisted by two sighted guides.

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Image: A sighted guide and artist helps to mould the modelling clay into round palm size shapes.

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Image: Another sighted guide helps Andrew prepare the modelling clay for the making session.

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Image: Image: Visually impaired participants at the start of the workshop session.

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Image: A visually impaired participant uses the 1:18 scale model of the Ferrari F40 as he makes his clay model at the workshop session.

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Image: A visually impaired participant uses the large vector drawings to determine the scale and dimensions of his clay model Ferrari F40, at the workshop session.

Some Testimonials:

“A fascinating exhibition and fun activity after rounded off the event very well. The volunteers were excellent, and the guides were friendly and patient.” – Ema P.

“We were impressed with how much thought and preparation Andrew put into making the exhibition and its ideas accessible to the children.” – Peter W.

“The museum volunteers were excellent.” – Jessica B.

“Impressive!” – Mihay I.

Credits:

Tour Guide: Andrew Mashigo

Tour Programmer: Bernard Hay, Producer Adult Learning, Design Museum

Photography: Ryan Prince Art

Large Print Guide: MaMoMi

Copyright © 2018 The Design Museum. All Rights Reserved.

The next tour:

MULTISENSORY ARCHITECTURE TOUR

Saturday 12 May 2018
11:00 – 12:30

The sensory trail will stop at interesting features along a tour designed to explore specific physical features and a tactile walkway around and within the museum.

This is a free tour and early booking is advised.

http://www.mamomiinitiative.com

Beazley Designs of The Year Exhibition Multisensory Tour

The Design Museum
Saturday 18 November 2017
A Multisensory tour | Blog

Beazley Designs of The Year exhibition

Every year, the Design Museum recognises worldwide excellence in design through its Beazley Designs of The Year exhibition. This year, the tenth year in the series, showcases some of the most original and exciting products, concepts and designs from the following six categories; Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport.

The tour provided our visually impaired participants with valuable insight into many of the thoughts and criteria behind current designs and concepts, and ended with the unique opportunity to explore a few original objects from the exhibition in our handling session at the end of the tour.

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A Visually Impaired participant explores the Paper Mache wall by touching with her palms and then finds more detail by rubbing the wall with the tips of her fingers. She is supported by a sighted guide.

Design is all around us and affects everything we do. Will designs be the brilliant breakthrough expected, or are some just absurd experimentations? Are the expectations of some designs realistic and valuable enough for the amount of development and time put to them? Underpinning MaMoMi’s multisensory approach are a focus on the interpretation of the available information, as well as collective participation, and we continue to express and demonstrate these values in our practice.

The Tour

For this tour and workshop session, we explored four exhibits; Meet Graham, Scewo, Gita, and Nike Pro Hijab, and toured the Play Space.

Meet Graham is an interactive lifelike sculpture demonstrating human vulnerability and the bodily features that would be needed to withstand a car crash. This is partly an educational tool and partly an unforgettable public service announcement.

Meet Graham was not installed as part of the exhibition but a short film demonstrated the making and workability of the concept. It is a grotesque depiction of how a human body would need to be formed in order to best withstand a car accident. It’s features include a flat, flabby face, tough skin, a barrel-like chest and a torso like an airbag.

Meet Graham is an interactive lifelike sculpture demonstrating human vulnerability and the bodily features that would be needed to withstand a car crash
Meet Graham, an interactive lifelike sculpture

Image: Meet Graham
Credit: Transport Accident Commission

Scewo is a futuristic looking wheelchair. It is a self balancing mobility device designed by a group of students and it enables wheelchair users to reach locations that were previously inaccessible. It is designed to sit up like a regular wheelchair and has a joystick and controls attached to the end of the handlebar. The user can also use a shift in body weight to control the chair.

It has two large wheels to drive around on flat ground and an extra pair of wheels at the rear of the chair allows users to raise the chair up so that they can engage with others at eye level. It also has rubber tracks that can be lowered to the ground for increased traction, allowing it to smoothly go up and down stairs safely, even on spiral stairs. Transitioning on and off the stair is automated and accomplished by the push of a button. The design also allows for many adjustments in the seating position. Scewo is still a prototype and under active development and was viewed via a short film.

Scewo is a stairclimbing mobility device. It is a mobility device designed by a group of students and it enables wheelchair users to reach locations that were previously inaccessible
Scewo is a stairclimbing mobility device

Image: Scewo
Credit: Scewo

Gita is a robotic personal helper that carries your belongings. The company behind the Vespa scooter have made its first move into autonomous transportation with this robotic personal helper that carries your belongings for you. The two-wheeled Gita is a cargo vehicle that can track its owner and roll along behind them. It looks like a drum with two bicycle wheels attached to the outer parameter, allowing it to roll along as it navigates space.

Access to the storage compartment is via a small secure and lockable lid at the top which can be opened by a slight touch, and with a tap of a button, Gita can follow you. It is approachable and communicative, using lights, sounds and a touchscreen interface to stay in touch. Gita is tracked at all times and has a 360 degree camera.

Gita is a robotic personal assistant that carries your belongings for you
Gita is a robotic personal assistant that carries your belongings for you

Image: Gita
Credit: Piaggio Fast Forward

Nike Pro Hijab is a performance hijab by Nike that will potentially change the face of sport for Muslim women. Over recent years, meetings with top-flight athletes illuminated performance problems associated with wearing traditional hijab during competition. Specific issues with previously used garments included the garment’s weight, the potential for it to shift during action and the lack of breathability would usually disrupt the focus of the athletes during competitions.

Nike’s design team combined this information with existing Nike innovations to create the initial prototype hijabs. Equipped with the feedback and collected insight from Nike elite athletes, Nike’s design is constructed from durable single-layer Nike Pro power mesh, a breathable lightweight polyester fabric that features tiny, strategically placed holes for optimal breathability but remains completely opaque, and a soft touch. The mesh is also stretchy, so when combined with an elastic binding it allows for a personalised fit that adapts to both the wearers head and sport. Fluff threads used at the neck eliminates the rubbing and irritation that can occur when an athlete sweats. It was unveiled two days before International Women’s Day.

Nike Pro Hijab is a performance Hijab by Nike
Nike Pro Hijab is a performance Hijab by Nike

Image: Nike Pro Hijab
Credit: Nike

The exhibition tour ended with a visit to the Play Space where Nimuno Loops is installed. The Nimuno Loops tape was developed to allow Lego builders to place their creations on the walls, the ceiling, furniture and pretty much anywhere. It can be cut and can bend sideways as well. It is an extension of playing with Lego and allows for an even more creative engagement with an abundance of possibilities.

Participants were able to deconstruct, rearrange and reconstruct the play space, and this very tactile experience was truly useful as it provided opportunities for play. This also initiated the discussion around creativity through responsive design. Interestingly though, the Nimuno Loops was not developed or even officially sanctioned by the Lego company, and it is a curiosity to see how Lego responds to the increased creative functionality this sticky tape offers the Lego bricks and it’s other components.

Image: The six images posted show visually impaired participants and our sighted guides visiting the Beazley Designs of The Year exhibition.

The Workshop

The workshop session was an opportunity to physically explore some objects from the exhibition. Our handling resources included a sample of the paper mache wall, the Nike Pro Hijab, the Nimuno Loops and a few Lego brick objects.

The Nike Pro Hijab is exactly what it says it is. Constructed from durable single-layer Nike Pro power mesh, it is a breathable lightweight polyester fabric that features tiny, strategically placed holes for optimal breathability but which still remains completely opaque, and soft to the touch. Visually Impaired participants explored the hijab’s stretchy mesh which, combined with an elastic binding, allows for a personalised fit that adapts to both the wearers head and sport. At the request of the athletes, the designers placed a signature Nike swoosh just above the left ear to highlight the hijab’s pinnacle performance nature.

The paper mache wall has sustainable and recyclable qualities, and also meets the design criteria for the exhibition, exploring forward thinking methods for exhibition design and installations. This neutral coloured paper mache is a composite material consisting of paper pulp and bound with an adhesive. The sample we explored was a cut out from the actual installation and was evidence that though the exposed surface felt a bit fragile, it would actually withstand a good amount of physical handling. The rough surface felt like it would chip off easily but it remained firmly fixed on the wall. The composite material has benefits that include sound and heat insulation, and its sustainability and recyclable qualities means that when the exhibition finally closes, it will be easy to recycle. You may also perceive a soft fragrance in the paper mache, depending on the make up of the pulp.

We began to deconstruct and reconstruct the Lego brick objects, using the Nimuno Loops to create interesting variations of the objects, and making use of the tactility of the sticky tapes to rearrange the orientation and usability of the Lego bricks. This provided a really fun experience for our visually impaired participants.

A Visually Impaired participant can be seen trying on the Nike Pro Hijab, with the assistance of a sighted guide
A Visually Impaired participant can be seen trying on the Nike Pro Hijab, with the assistance of a sighted guide

Andrew, the tour facilitator, explains the benefits of the paper mache wall.
Exploring a section of the sample of paper mache wall.


The Next Tour

The next tour is the DESIGNER MAKER USER Tour: the USER experience.

This tour and workshop session will hold on Saturday 13 January 2018, from 11:00 – 12:30.

We will continue our exploration of the Designer Maker User exhibition, and investigate design and the user experience. One question is, how does design interact with our senses, as users? A workshop session will allow participants to co-design new objects that respond to the themes discussed.

This is a free tour but booking is necessary. Please book by visiting the Design Museum website, via the link here Designer Maker User tour.

Please meet in the atrium at 10.45am.

Credits

Multisensory Tour Facilitator: Andrew Mashigo.

Tour Programmer: Bernard Hay, Producer Adult Learning, Design Museum.

Large Print Guide: MaMoMi.

Image credits: MaMoMi Images, except where mentioned otherwise.

Photography: Ryan Prince Art, for MaMoMi Images © All rights reserved

Copyright © The Design Museum 2017

Design and Play: Exploring Designer Maker User

The Design Museum | 9 September 2017

The Design and Play tour of the Designer Maker User collection at the Design Museum was our opportunity to review the impact of play in design, taking a view of creative play and concluding with an opportunity to design and make unique objects.

Taking a tour of Design Museum’s permanent collection, the Designer Maker User exhibition, you note that the almost 1,000 items of twentieth and twenty-first century design objects on display viewed design through the angles of and the continuing interaction between the designer, manufacturer and user.

Image: The meet and greet prior to the tour, and start of the tour at the entrance of the Designer Maker User exhibition
Image credit: MaMoMi images © All rights reserved
Photographs: Ryan Prince Art

The Timeline of Design
The pre-industrial era was a period when everyday objects were made by craftsmen in a process shaped by skill and precedent. The rapid growth of Industrialisation from the 18th century introduced greater possibilities for creating designs in great volume but many observers and users still wanted to protect the dignity of craftsmanship.

Rejecting Industrialisation gained momentary drive in the mid 19th century but the opportunity to deliver mass-produced products, made in less time, and meeting standardised specifications with the use of machine production realised through batch production, made business sense and encouraged the modern designer to embrace the idea of machine and industry.

Creative Play
Many experts believe that a child’s early experience of play have a formative effect on their motor skills and on their psychological and emotional development. This tour draws on the benefits of play in the design process, particularly highlighting traditional crafting and making processes, using elements of creative play that explores our senses as we explore various materials and different elements of creativity.

Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul” – Friedrich Froebel, Designer (1782 – 1852)

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Image: At the Creative Play display, Designer Maker User exhibition
Image credit: MaMoMi images © All rights reserved
Photograph: Ryan Prince Art

The Creative Workshop
The design of a product involves a range of steps that can include goal setting, research, getting a design brief, fabrication, testing and implementation. This tour and workshop helps us better understand the uniqueness of traditional craft-making methods while sharing the benefits of mechanised mass-production methods. But we will make sure it is also about play and having fun.

Play is an important part of the growth of a child but as we develop into adults, we stop playing so much. We get so bugged-down by work that we forget the value of play. During this workshop led by Lynn Cox, a visually impaired creative practitioner and freelance disability and visual equality trainer, we use craft-making processes to create several objects of design.

Image: Workshop activity in the Creative workshop
Image credit: MaMoMi images © All rights reserved
Photograph: Ryan Prince Art

Closing Note: Advocating for social Inclusion
An important goal of an access programme is to provide accommodations that enables individuals with a disability to participate fully and independently in social life, and the museum encourages its disabled visitors to participate in its public programme.

One way of approaching this, from a personal point of view, is to enhance opportunities and encourage an environment where able and disabled visitors can together participate in public events. The idea that events or activities should be reserved only for a particular audience causes or promotes marginalisation, or put in another way, social exclusion. Social Inclusion challenges barriers, values and behaviours, and by creating an inclusive learning environment, we actively support the goals of an inclusive society.

Social Inclusion is the process of improving the ability, opportunity, and dignity of people, disadvantaged on the basis of their identity, to take part in society.” – World Bank, 2013

The Design Museum’s multisensory tours are a key event for our disabled visitors but we also encourage other audiences to participate in our tours and events, especially when it does not deny a disabled visitor the opportunity to participate in the said event(s).

This Design and Play tour had its highest ratio of sighted participants to date, making up approximately half the number of participants, and is something we will continue to monitor and advocate. It is important to us that we continue to be an agency of positive social change.

A huge thank you goes to Bernard Hay, Producer, Adult Learning, Design Museum, to Lynn Cox, our workshop facilitator, and our sighted guides for their continued support.

Our next tour:
The next tour at the Design Museum is on Saturday 18th of November and will visit the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition, taking a snapshot of the very best in innovative and contemporary design from the past year. More information to be published soon.

Andrew Mashigo
Founder and Freelance facilitator
MaMoMi

The Designer Maker User: A Design Museum Tour

This was an Introductory tour of Designer Maker User, the Design Museum’s permanent exhibition. The tour explored the exhibition’s displays and exhibits and was designed to provide an introduction to contemporary design, looking at the ways in which we engage with design.

On what turned out to be a really beautiful sunny day in Kensington, London, on the morning of Saturday 10 June 2017, we met our blind and visually impaired Design Museum visitors at the museum entrance and went up to the second floor where the DMU exhibition is installed.

Some Curiosities And Thoughts.
Design has evolved over time and this session was designed to provide a discourse around the continuing interaction between designers, makers and users, and the development of the role of design. Some of my questions were;

  • Have our human needs helped shape our design needs?
  • Have all design inventions been of a necessity or out of a desire?
  • Have we (users) shaped design or has design shaped the way we live?

The Tour.
Our participants were taken up to the entrance of the DMU, noting the timeline that graces the entrance to the exhibition. The earliest entry on the timeline was from 1759 with Josiah Wedgwood and the birth of design, following three different industrialisation periods through to the 3rd Industrial Revolution of the 21st century, with 2012 the last entry on that timeline.

As the DMU features almost 1,000 items of twentieth and twenty-first century design, I decided we would view a small selection of objects. The Anglepoise, the wooden Kitchen model, Olympic torch, Phonosuper SK5 record player, the Juicy Salif and BigRep One 3D printer were our stops along the tour of the exhibition.

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The Anglepoise Lamp by George Cowardine

Image: The Anglepoise Lamp by George Cowardine.
Image credit: The Design Museum.

I enjoyed viewing innovative designs and the 3D printer. I learnt a lot more about the origin of design and the processes – James Hallam

Our final stop on the tour was the BigRep One 3D Printer. Not surprisingly, this was a really big winner, providing real-life examples of 3D objects that could both be handled and tested. Additive manufacturing, the process in which 3D printer layer and produces items, has brought a transformation of the 3D printer from laboratory equipment into a consumer product.

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3D printed objects produced by the BigRep One 3D printer

Image: Some 3D printed objects produced by the BigRep One 3D printer.
Image credit: MaMoMi.
All objects property of the Design Museum.

The Creative Workshop.
The workshop gave us an opportunity to review the introduction to DMU and discuss any observations identified on the tour. We explored some objects in the museum’s handling collection, helping to enhance the limited exploration during the tour. Products like the Anglepoise Original Type 1227, designed by George Cowardine, with its unique spring based aluminium arm mechanism, the Juicy Salif by Philippe Starck and its sleek and abstract design which was unfortunately only a triumph of form over function because of the several issues with steam from the sprout scalding the user, and therefore discontinued, to the Lilliput Salt and Pepper set designed by Stefano Giovannoni for Alessi, were all great items to have lengthy discussions around.

As users, the participants left with a really valuable knowledge of the design processes, and some of the criteria designers and makers have to iterate over in the decisions to create, design and manufacture products.

It was really good looking at the different iconic design items and also lear how design came about and has changed over the years – Ramona Williams

Images.
Top left: Participants next to the BigRep 3D Printer.
Top right: At the Creative Workshop.
Bottom: Participants, Companions and the facilitator Andrew Mashigo in the Creative Workshop.
Image credit: MaMoMi

Credits:
Multisensory Tour Facilitator: Andrew Mashigo, MaMoMi.
Tour Programmer: Bernard Hay, Producer Adult Learning, Design Museum.
Banner Image of Designer Maker User Exhibition: Luke Hayes.

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