Sensory Associations

17 September 2019

Sensory Associations is a multisensory, participatory and collaborative exploration of our senses in space and time, and developed by multisensory artist and design enthusiast Andrew Mashigo, of MaMoMi.

This iteration, exploring the audiovisual perception, was installed at Tate Exchange from the 1st to the 3rd of September as part of the Inside Job exhibition at Tate Modern.

Image: Participants watching the sensory associations video installation.

Based on an investigative approach to our senses in space and time, this immersive project explores how we observe and respond to our immediate environment.

Using a video compilation juxtaposed with recurring sounds of deliberately selected and edited tracks, it confronts and challenges the way we interpret the audiovisual perception. The response is a dialogue that opens up and initiates a new set of conversations and feedback, both artistically and cognitively.

Image: Participants exploring the audiovisual narrative translated into a tactile auditory experience.

Accessibility:

This iteration of Sensory Associations was devised for all audiences and is particularly interested in better understanding sighted peoples association with visual and auditory perceptions. Driven by some of the misconceptions relating sight and sound we perceive, this project helps identify and highlight some of those misconceptions, with a view to improving an active and mindful use of all our senses.

The notion of preconceived ideas of what is and what is not, or of links and associations, is questioned, especially with what we think is and is not. We know that mindful flexibility of meaning and auto-suggestion can influence the range and sensitivity of sensory perceptions and this is clearly observed by and responded to in this project. Contextual information used in this installation helps participants re-consider many of their expectations and interpretation.

SubPac:

Heightening this somatosensory and immersive project is the use of the SUBPAC, a wearable tactile audio platform that delivers a deeply immersive and nuanced bass with far more resolution and range than traditional speakers and headphones. The use of the SubPac gave our audience a much broader audio range, opening up the auditory perception even more.

The SubPac is a valuable and integral part of this project as it takes the audio narrative used in the audiovisual installation and creates a sensorial experience for our audience, with the sound vibrations pulsing through the body to the inner ear, so users sense it as hearing. Many participants were amazed at the application of the SubPac in this project and you can read a small selection of the feedback we collected below.

SUBPAC is used by thousands of audio and VR professionals to add a heightened level of immersion, impact and awareness. There are currently two versions of the product, SUBPAC S2 for seated and SUBPAC M2x for mobile experiences. View their website via http://www.subpac.com

Some feedback:

“An interesting take on the connections between the senses. The combination of natural, animalistic sounds with industrial imagery created an inquisitive reflection and emotive response.“

“Really great. You hear something very different from what you see. Interesting regarding the perception of the world challenged by this sensory animation.”

“This is the best thing about this exhibition. I love that it is interactive and you notice all the good and bad things that happen on the screen. I love sensory associations!”

“Wonderful combination of sight, sound and physical stimulation. The great thing about the technology is that you can experience the “body rush” normally associated with high volume sound without the impact on one’s ears. Thank you!”

“I love how the sound changes my perception of the images. The SubPac gives a really nice massage and enhanced my experience!”

“A fascinating way to represent the different sensory perceptions. Challenging with all senses mixed up. Well done and thank you for sharing the experience!“

Image: The SubPac units used by our audience to experience sound tactually.

Please note that this audiovisual installation is still in development and additional sensory elements will be developed and produced next year.

Credits:

Andrew Mashigo – Multisensory Artist
SubPac – Wearable technology unit
Miles-Andrew Mashigo – Video editor/Producer

Contacts:

www.mamomiinitiative.com

www.subpac.com/category/bass-chronicles

#sensoryassociations #immersive #sensory #tactilesound #subpac

Somerset House New Access Programme

Somerset House Access
A New Programme for visually impaired visitors
An Introductory Tour of Somerset House with a Focus Group

Date: 1 June 2019

Image: The Edmond J. Safra fountain court, Somerset House, with the North Wing in the background.
Image description: This is on the approach to the fountain quadrangle from the Seamen’s Hall, with the fountain in the foreground and the North Wing in the background. It is a bright sunny day with the blue sky visible above the North Wing. A young girl in a bright red t-shirt can be seen on the left playing with the fountain.

This Pilot session with a Focus Group explored the possibilities and opportunities available to visually impaired and differently-abled visitors to this contemporary arts centre in the heart of London.

Image: The Old Somerset House and the Thames. Circa 1680 | Image credit: Somerset House.
Image description: The Old Somerset House is in the background and the Thames in the foreground, with several boats sailing past the Embankment entrance.

Somerset House

Somerset House is a contemporary arts centre in the heart of London offering a diverse and dynamic public programme to a large community of creative businesses, artists and makers. It is also one of London’s most spectacular and well-loved spaces where art and culture is imagined, made and experienced by over 3 million visitors every year.

The Introductory Tour

This Introductory tour, created to explore the possibilities and opportunities within Somerset House, was devised around three elements; the History, the Architecture, and the current use of the building. The tour took us from the Seamen’s Hall to the Stamp stairs, the Embankment entrance, the Edmond J. Safra fountain court, the North Wing archway and finished in front of the statue of King George III. The feedback session was moderated by Lynn Cox, a VI artist and facilitator.

Starting at the Seamen’s Hall, a space full of character and offering a sense of grandeur with its white marble floors, imposing Corinthian columns, chandeliers and huge windows, we went on to view the architectural facade at the bottom of the Stamp stairs, which is on the street level from the Embankment entrance.

A Focus Group was invited to test the resources and give their objective evaluation. A key goal for this pilot session is to develop a programme that will become a valid cultural learning experience.

Image: VI visitors viewing the architectural facade of the North Wing.
Image description: Standing at the base of the Stamp stairs, VI visitors stand in front of the facade of the North Wing. The white facade is set on a two foot plus tall dark grey plinth, installed on the right side of the room. Three VI’s and a sighted guide discuss the features of the facade.

At the base of the Stamp stairs is the installed architectural facade of the North Wing. This facade, the exterior wall or face of a building, features detailed characteristics of the architecture of the building. Facades usually involve design elements like deliberate placement of windows or doors and the elaborate features and decorations in the structure. The North Wing facade reveals the massive arched doorways, large porch and wide windows, and plenty of consideration into the types of fenestrations used including the wall panels and curtain walls.

Image: VI visitors by the Embankment entrance listening to a detailed history of Somerset House.
Image description: Standing just under the arch at the Embankment entrance, four VI visitors and two sighted guides stand together to discuss the historical information about the building.

Leading out northbound from the Seamen’s Hall to the Edmond J. Safra fountain court, we view the courtyard which is one of the grandest locations in London. It is centred around Somerset House’s iconic fountains and surrounded on all sides by 19th century buildings.

This Grade 1 listed building does have some physical access limitations because of steps from the Seamen’s Hall and narrow walkways, uneven surface of the Stamp stairs and a cobbled square that goes all the way around the fountain and leading up to the North Wing.

To help with the interpretation of the space, we made reference to the architectural facade displayed in the Stamp stairs and used a 3D model of the top of the Corinthian columns. The Corinthian column is very ornate with slender fluted columns, with elaborate capitals decorated with leaves and rings.

Somerset House Today

Somerset House is a cultural destination with residents including over 100 organisations from the arts and creative industries. The Somerset House Exchange provides a co-working space for 120 small businesses and start-ups, including Makerversity, a pioneering collection of emerging maker businesses supported since its launch.

Since 1775 when a new building was erected, designed by William Chambers, the building housed various government departments including births, marriage, deaths and the Inland Revenue.

Somerset House was established in July 1997 to conserve and preserve Somerset House as an arts centre. After a campaign to open Somerset House to the public, it became a home for arts and culture in 2000.

Future Tours

The Somerset House Learning and Skills team and the MaMoMi team are reviewing some exciting possibilities and are keen to make this programme a valid learning experience for differently-abled visitors. Updates will be posted shortly.

Accessibility

Somerset House strives to be open and accessible to all, and continue to work to remove barriers for visitors with disabilities and to ensure our event and exhibitions are accessible.

To discuss your visit, call 0207 845 4600 to speak to someone in visitor experience between 10.00 and 17.00. You can also email visitor@somersethouse.org.uk and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also contact us at MaMoMi via info@mamomiinitiative.com

Address

Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA

Getting here

The underground from Temple Station to Embankment entrance, which is approximately 200m. You can also use the main line stations Charring Cross, Blackfriars and Waterloo.

Credits

Andrew Mashigo: Tour Developer and Facilitator
Lynn Cox: Tour Developer and Facilitator
Catherine-Ritman Smith: Head of learning and Skills, Somerset House
Sophia-Hinton Lever: Learning and Skills Coordinator, Somerset House
Stu Baker: 3D Model Designer
Image credit: Somerset House Trust and MaMoMi
Large Print guide and Braille: MaMoMi initiative

#somersethouse #access #visual #arts #culture #education #mamomi

David Adjaye: Making Memory

A Multisensory Tour. The Design Museum 9 March 2019

The entrance to the Making Memory exhibition, showing how the photographs have been installed. The bottom photographs have been installed facing upwards at an angle, while the top row have been installed facing downwards at an angle too, making the photo displays seeming like they wrap around the viewers.

Image: Entrance to the Making Memory exhibition.

MAKING MEMORY

This exhibition helps us discover the work of celebrated architect Sir David Adjaye (OBE), with the tour focusing on his use of story-telling to create unique monuments and memorials, from the Smithsonian Natural Museum of African American History, to the Sclera pavilion.

Adjaye’s landmark structures in this exhibition explore the design, role and use of contemporary monuments. These monuments and memorials show how he uses architecture and form to reflect on history, memory and record human lives, answering questions of how buildings can shape our perception of events – past, present and future. Visitor’s will experience the storytelling power of architecture through an exploration of seven monumental projects.

The exhibition also uses soundscapes for each display, in response to the narrative and context of each display. The tracks for the soundscape were written by Peter Adjaye, David’s DJ brother. This soundscape, including the use of dark grey colours on the wall in the first 5 rooms, gives the overall display an immersive and emotive feel, something a few in our VI audience were quick to mention.

THE GWANGJU RIVER READING ROOM | 2013

The Gwangju River Reading room is a pavilion on 2 levels. The top is made of timber and held on the bottom by four pillars made our of concrete. The four pillars house 200 books to celebrate the lives of the 200 people killed during the 1980 massacre.

Image: Gwangju Pavilion| Image Credit: Kyungsug Shin

The River Reading Room sits on the embankment of the River Gwangju, connecting the street level above with the grassy planes below. Completed in 2013, the pavilion’s design was influenced by traditional Korean pagoda. The memorial was inspired by the 1980 Gwangju uprising, also known as the May 18 Democratic Uprising, where local Chonnam University students demonstrated against the governments martial law practices. It was reported that 200 people died, though other records state that up to 2,000 people lost their lives during the uprising.

The pavilion consists of two primary materials, concrete and timber. The concrete base takes into consideration the maximum level of the river and is designed so that it could be submerged in water at high tide. Steps are carved into the concrete to form seating areas and viewing platforms on which to sit, read, contemplate and reflect.

Four pillars around the perimeter house the books. When the concrete is submerged, the timber structure appears to float above the water. A 1:20 scale wooden model in the middle of the room is placed on a waist high plinth. On the wall are 8 LED light box photographic displays, and on the left is a recreation of one of the 4 bookcases from the memorial, filled with a selection of books chosen by the writer Taiye Selasi.

SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE |2016

The Smithsonian museum design was influenced by the shape of the Olowe of Ise wood craft by the Yoruba traditional craftsmen. The design of the facade was inspired by motifs created by Charleston and New Orleans metalworkers.

Image: Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture | Image Credit: Brad Feinknopf

The Smithsonian is dedicated to telling the story of black American lives, from slavery to the present days. Built over 8 floors (4 above ground and 4 below ground), the building itself is a monument to the stories told inside, with the architecture actively contextualising the memories represented. The museum’s three-tiered structure is covered in bronze panels.

The museum was inaugurated by President Obama in September 2016 on the last available plot at the National Mall in Washington D.C. and was a long-awaited symbol of the African American contribution to the nation’s history and identity. Adjaye’s approach created a strong conceptual resonance with America’s longstanding African heritage.

The Smithsonian was 100 years in the making, with black civil war veterans first proposing a national museum of African American History in 1915. Even with a successful fund-raising campaign, it took 100 years for this project to come to fruition, first influenced by President Bush, and then completed during the Obama presidency. The 1:100 scale model in the middle of the room is made of wood.

Next to the model of the museum is a wooden sculpture of a Yoruba Veranda post by Olowe of Ise, circa 1910 – 1914. This Nigerian sculpture, made out of carved wood, stands at just over 5-foot tall and is placed on a 12 inch tall wooden plinth with black metal barrier. The museum’s stacked shape takes inspiration from the top portion of this early 20th century Yoruba craftwork. Olowe’s wooden sculptures were created for use as columns, holding up the porches of shrine houses and traditional dwellings.

UK HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL AND LEARNING CENTRE | Proposed

The entrance to the UK Holocaust memorial features 22 imposing bronze fin structures symbolising the 22 countries affected when Jewish communities were destroyed during the Holocaust.

Image: UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre | Image Credit: Adjaye Associates

This memorial honours the millions who died at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust and will be built close to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. It seeks to inspire visitors to strive to draw meaning and purpose out of tragedy.

The new landmark – to be completed by 2022 – aims to be “a living place, not just a monument to something of the past”, offering visitors an “immersive journey” and “sensory experience” throughout the site. It will be a place to reflect upon, remind and learn from the genocide of Europe’s Jewish population.

The Memorial is embedded within the landscape, and the Learning Centre is embedded within the Memorial. Entrance to the memorial features 23 imposing bronze fin structures, with the gaps between the fins representing the 22 countries where the Holocaust destroyed Jewish communities. The striking memorial will have a modern, minimalist feel, combining a striking architectural memorial above ground that leads to an engaging, reflective and powerful exhibition below.

Visitors can expect different experiences along each pathway between the fins before the walks culminate at a cavernous main hall (known as the Threshold), intended to be a place for contemplation before moving into the adjoining Learning Centre in the level below ground.

The sound in this room is a lot quieter and sombre than the previous room, with the sound of the trombone providing a soothing and subtle presence. In the middle of the room is a 1:200 model of the centre.

SCLERA PAVILION | 2008

The Sclera pavilion was inspired by the human eye and is a small, simple structure. It is made out of Tulipwood and is yellowish brown in colour. The tulipwood is installed vertically and hinged on the top and pinned down at its base. Every one of the tulipwood used are of different lengths.

Image: Sclera | Image Credit: Leonardo Finotti

As part of the London Design Festival in 2008, David Adjaye was selected to create a spectacular outdoor temporary structure to challenge the public perception of everyday materials. He created the Sclera Pavilion, in collaboration with American Hardwood Export Council, using tulip-wood presented as the prototype of a new material that had never been used as an external building material.

This project is the only one in this exhibition that is not a memorial as such. It was designed as a public space that could be ultimately calming and uplifting whilst in the centre of the city. The work is characterized by an innovative design that explores the possibilities of designing a unique space from a simple design element.

The shape was inspired by the human eye and is a small, simple structure that best exemplifies Adjaye’s use of architecture as a dynamic space for experience. He chose the name to make reference to a “space from my point of view.” In that sense, Sclera is a monument to slowing down.

The pavilion consists of two circular chambers. The lateral entrance to the first chamber leads into the second and larger chamber, creating a strong sense of space. The entire interior offers visitors an experience of spatiality transmitted by the elliptical shape of the wall and the floor, and the ceilings dimensional and smooth curves. The clarity of the wood and the shapes and spaces provide an intense sensory experience as the visitor moves through the work.

A 1:20 scale model of the Sclera is installed in the centre of the room, with a 1:1 scale fragment of the pavilion installed to the side. We are allowed to touch the sclera model and getting close reveals the pinkish yellowish or slightly yellowish brown colour, and light refreshing scent in the wood. It almost smells like it has a very light perfumery smell.

NATIONAL CATHEDRAL OF GHANA | Proposed

The National Cathedral of Ghana will have its main architectural concept drawn from both contemporary Christian architectural principles and motifs from traditional Akan culture.

Image: National Cathedral of Ghana | Credit: Adjaye Associates

Based in Accra, the National Cathedral of Ghana will be a unique 21st-century landmark where religion, democracy and local tradition are seamlessly and symbolically intertwined.

The Cathedral’s main architectural concept draws on both contemporary Christian architectural principles and motifs from traditional Akan culture. The building also references several ancient symbols, materials and processes still in use in Akan culture today.

Situated within 14 acres of landscaped gardens, the proposed design will house a two-level 5000-seat auditorium which, with the addition of two podiums designed for standing, can accommodate a congregation of up to 15,000 people. In the middle of the room is a 1:250 wooden scale model of the cathedral.

Installed in the ceiling above are 5 brightly coloured ceremonial Asante umbrella’s. Handmade in Kumasi, they are used at weddings, funerals and other ceremonies but they are also partly functional because they are used to provide shelter from the rain and sun. Only Chiefs and senior members of the Akran clans used the larger umbrellas as they are a symbol of STATUS and POWER.

There are also 5 Asante umbrella finials installed vertically along a side wall. The ASANTE umbrella finials are hand carved finials intended to sit on top of the ceremonial umbrellas. The form and subject of the finials are based on proverbs that reflect certain characteristics associated with the AKRAN clan and respective chiefs.

David also selected several artists to adorn the buildings interiors. An example of this are the 2 ADINKRA textiles from 1960 hanging on the wall to the left as you walk into the display. They are handwoven and stamped cotton Adire African textiles and have Adinkra symbols printed on the textile. Traditionally, Spiritual leaders and Royalty wore them but nowadays anyone can buy and use them. 

MASS EXTINCTION MEMORIAL OBSERVATORY | Proposed

The Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory is designed as a continuous spiral walk wrapped around a central atrium. The spiralling form is based on the gastropod fossils, looking like a snail or slug. The inside follows the shape of a corkscrew, rising from the bottom all the way to the top of the structure.

Image: Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory

To be built along the Jurassic coast on the isle of Portland in Dorset, this memorial is a project designed to raise awareness on extinction. The observatory is designed as a continuous spiral walk wrapped around a large central atrium. Lining the interior of the MEMO will be stone carvings of 860 extinct species. The building will be on the site of the old quarry that the limestone of St Paul’s Cathedral was quarried.

The spiraling form of the building is based on the gastropod fossils commonly found in the quarry. Floors inside the building will follow the corkscrew shape.

To the right of the room is a stone carving of the Gastric Brooding Frogs. The brooding frog are ground dwelling frogs native to Australia, and was discovered in 1970 and classed as extinct in 1983, a tragic loss to biologists and environmentalists.

Fun fact: The brooding frogs were known for their ability to incubate or brood their young ones in their stomach. The gastric brooding frog were known to swallow its eggs once it had laid them, to keep them safe, with the baby frogs hopping out when they were ready.

CORETTA SCOTT KING & MARTIN LUTHER KING JR WALL | Proposed

This memorial wall for the Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr Memorial is made from Valchromat. Dr King's speeches will be carved into the stone wall of the memorial and this wall shows a new speech to text typography that will digitally carved into the wall, each word corresponding to the rhythms and pitch of the spoken word.

Image: Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr wall

This is the first opportunity to see an in-depth display of the proposed Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Boston. Featuring Adjaye Associates proposal for the memorial, it will be placed at the highest point of Boston Common, the city where the Kings studied and met, serving as a place for discursive action and assembly.

The 1:1 model shows how the King’s speeches will be carved into the stone walls of the memorial. This wall is made out of Valchromat, a wood fibre panel which is coloured throughout and engineered for high physical performance. The fibres are individually impregnated with organic dyes and chemically bonded by specifically developed resins that give the panels their special properties.

The depth of the digital carvings corresponds to the rhythms and volume of the original speech so the louder the spoken word, the deeper it is carved. The King monument taps into this and instead of focusing on events, movements or specific acts, it remembers speeches and words.

Wearing powder free latex gloves, we were able to explore the depths and crevices of the text imprint to better understand the speech to text typography used.

IMAGE GALLERY

On the top row, the first image shows the entrance to the Making Memory exhibition, with VI participants looking upwards towards the wall display as Andrew describes the photographs.

The second image shows VI participants having a close look at the Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory, a white gastropod shaped monument.

The third image shows two VI participants touching the Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr memorial, while wearing polyethylene gloves.

On the second row, the first image shows the design of a base structure for a memorial made by a VI participant.

The second image shows the upper structure of a memory box made by a VI participant.

OUR NEXT TOUR

STANLEY KUBRICK

The Design Museum
SATURDAY 4 May 2019
10:30 – 12:00

Join this multisensory tour as we step inside the world of Stanley Kubrick, one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century.

Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition, will offer a unique insight into the director’s vast archive through original props and costumes, set models and rare photographs, while tracing the design story behind Kubrick’s body of work.

His fascination with all aspects of design and architecture influenced every stage of all his films. He worked with many key designers of his generation, from Hardy Amies to Saul Bass, Eliot Noyes, Milena Canonero, and Ken Adam.

Note: This tour will start at the earlier time of 10:30 to give us the best opportunity to view the exhibition at the quietest time.

The MaMoMi logo

http://www.mamomiinitiative.com

Sensations and History: A Sensory Trail of Kensington

The Sensory Trail | Sunday 19 August 2018 

By Andrew Mashigo and Lynn Cox

Our summer 2018 event, Sensations and History: A Sensory Trail of Kensington, was a walk exploring some heritage and historical sites in Kensington, revealing interesting facts and trivia of selected parts of High Street Kensington and Kensington Gardens while exploring their physical and aural features. This tour, on Sunday 19th of August and for visually impaired or blind people, started at High Street Kensington station, stopping at St Mary Abbots Parish Church, the Palace Gates in Kensington Gardens, the Round Pond,  before concluding at Serpentine Gallery’s Serpentine Pavilion.

Map of Kensington

Image: Aerial map of High Street Kensington and Kensington Gardens.
Credit: Google Maps

So, what is a Sensory Trail? A sensory trail is a tour that provides a series of experiences along a route designed to engage our senses and collectively immerse participants in a multi-sensory journey. Our focus on this sensory trail was to explore and share a journey that potentially creates moments and movements. We purposely designed the walk to take us through public buildings, the park, and around art installations, with the knowledge that a montage of perspectives and responses will be created.

This Sensory trail was also an opportunity to listen, touch, and smell our environment more intently, to encourage physical interaction with the environment, and to tell stories that help build memories and make connections.

The Sensory Experience

High Street Kensington Station

Our first stop was the tactile map of Kensington High Street, installed in the hallway of High Street Kensington station. This was the first station on Kensington High Street, constructed in 1867. The station was then demolished in 1906 and rebuilt complete with a shopping arcade. Kensington Arcade, currently with 15 stores, is the entrance to the station.

Sensory Trail Pix 10
A Visually Impaired participant touches the tactile map of Kensington High Street.

Sensory Trail. Pix 1
The 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.

Images: Above are two images of the tactile map installed in High Street Kensington Station, installed by The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC).

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.

This tactile map provided a lot of discussion points. The first one was that no one seemed to know that the tactile map had been installed in the station. The tactile map is a valuable interpretation tool for both visually impaired and sighted users but does not seem to have much use. It was also felt that been tucked away in the corner of the station hall made it difficult to locate. A final observation was that the area was not well-lit meaning a visually impaired (VI) person with some vision will struggle to read and use the map visually.

Other than that, everyone felt this new map will help visually-impaired users, including those with guide dogs, people in wheelchairs and other visitors, to map their way around Kensington High Street.

Sensory Experience: Sometimes the obvious only becomes clear when we pay attention to things around us. The sound of the ticket gates swinging open and shut created an interesting and unique beat and rhythm, sometimes sounding like beats to a rock song. At other times, it felt you could hear the two-step beats to a marching band.

The synchronised sound of the tickets beeping seconds before the gates swing open and shut created an interesting melody, although sometimes jarring, and at other times sounding chaotic, especially at moments when there are multiple users.

Leaving the station and out of the Kensington Arcade, we walked past Ben’s Cookies and then Wasabi, experiencing contrasting scents. The cookies created a waft of sweet smells, the smell of chocolate, while near the exit of the station, the cooked dishes created the savoury smell of stews and seasoning. Both scents were quite pleasant and inviting, and reminded someone of grandma’s Christmas dinners.

St Mary Abbots Parish Church

St Mary Abbots Parish Church was built in 1872 by Gilbert Scott. Until the early 19th century, St Mary Abbots was the only church in Kensington.

Sensory Trail Pix 9
Participants walking through St Mary Abbots Parish Church grounds from the west entrance.

Sensory Trail Pix 8
Participants viewing the external wall of St Mary Abbots Parish Church, with a particular interest in the tombstones that have been interestingly embedded into the wall.

The current state of the church does not represent what Gilbert Scott left in 1872 but is instead the result of the repairs carried out with probably inferior materials following the bombing and burning-out of the church in WW2.

Some of the interesting features of the church’s Cathedral-like interior are the high Nave, Aisle and Transept roofs, the flat stone floor and the splendid historic timberwork used throughout. The magnificent wrought iron font is currently positioned in the corner near the west door. All around, we noticed the stone and mosaic materials, and the elegant stained glass windows.

St Mary Abbots Church entrance
Entrance to St Mary Abbots Church via the west entrance, using the great West Door.

The Font
The Font, standing near the West door, was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and presented to the church in 1881.

Images: The top image shows the entrance to St Mary Abbots Church via the west entrance, using the great west door.
The bottom image shows the font, a wrought iron structure installed into the roof. It was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and has a wrought-iron canopy, presented in 1881.

Although the nave and chancel roofs were destroyed and damage was done to stained glass and the organ during WW2, the main structure was not seriously harmed. There is a story that while the fire-fighters fought the blaze, an air raid warden played the organ to keep the water out of the pipes thus perhaps preventing more serious damage.

The Sensory Experience:

Walking through the church, you immediately sense the presence and ambience that transcends the physical. Some call it ethereal, saintly or heavenly, and I’d just like to call it the divine presence.

The timberwork used in the ceiling and the pews give the space a soft and subtle echo and creating a very immersive experience. Spoken words seem to float around as whispers, almost with an eerie charm. You only have to stay here for 5 minutes and you will definitely be taken by the tranquillity and majesty of the silence. Truly transcendental!

Interesting facts: Until the early 19th century, St Mary Abbots was the only church in Kensington. Many eminent parishioners included Sir Isaac Newton, Joseph Addison, William Wilberforce, George Canning, William Thackeray and Lord Macaulay.

The Palace Gates, Kensington Gardens.

Kensington Gardens covers 265 acres and was originally part of Hyde Park. The Gardens with their magnificent trees are the setting for Kensington Palace, the birthplace of Queen Victoria who lived there until she became queen in 1837.

Kensington Palace Gate
A close-up view of the Palace Gates, with bright golden floral designs against the black metal gate.

Kensington Palace Gates
Lynn shares some really interesting history of Kensington Gardens.

Some Interesting facts about Kensington Palace.

The Not So Good News: King George II didn’t get on well with his son, Prince Frederick, at one point having him banned from Kensington. When Frederick died after getting hit in the chest with a cricket ball, the news was delivered to George as he was playing cards. George’s response to his son’s death? “Good.”

It has a haunted Nursery: Like any good palace should be, Kensington has its fair share of ghosts. King George II is said to haunt the palace where he lived. Another is “Peter the Wild Boy”, whom George I brought back to Hanover after finding him living in the woods. It is thought that Peter suffered from a genetic condition known as Pitt-Hopkins and it is believed that he haunts the King’s staircase. Princess Sophia is another royal ghost in the palace. Apartment 1A, home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as well as Prince George and Princess Charlotte, is rumoured to be one of the more haunted palaces in Kensington Palace.

It’s Rotten: A private road was built from Kensington to Hyde Park Corner that was wide enough for three-to-four carriages to ride abreast. Part of the road eventually became the major thoroughfare known as Rotten Row.

The Round Pond

The Round Pond is an ornamental lake in Kensington Gardens, London, in front of Kensington Palace. The pond was created in 1730 by George II as a fashionable addition to Kensington Gardens. It is approximately seven acres in extent, measuring approximately 200 by 150 metres. The pond is actually not round.

Sensory Trail Pix 7

Image description: The image shows some of the birds that reside in the pond.

The Round Pond is a haven for birds and contains various fish and also filled with a large variety of ducks, geese, swans and other birds all waiting to be fed by visitors. All around the birds enjoy the serene settings of the garden.

The Sensory Experience: The numbers of birds wading through the pond and flying around made the pond sometimes feel like a flying school for young birds. The cacophony of wings flapping and birds landing in the water was pretty interesting.

The Serpentine Gallery

The Serpentine continues its exploration of public art, bringing new sculptures to Kensington Gardens since 2010. The latest sculptural commission is by artist Lee Ufan, installed outside the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens.

Lee Ufan. Relatum Stage
Lee Ufan sculpture, Relatum – Stage, outside Serpentine Gallery.

Image copyright: © Serpentine Gallery 2018

Lee Ufan sculpture 1
This is a reflection from the angled, mirrored steel sheets that make up this sculpture.

Lee Ufan sculpture 2
This outdoor sculpture can be touched so why not sit and become a participant in the sculptural installation, instead of just been an observer? And that’s what we did.

Lee Ufan’s minimalist works usually use only two materials – steel and stone – characteristic of the minimalist school of thought. Relatum – Stage is a philosophical term denoting things or events between which a relation exists. Comprised of two, angled, mirrored, steel sheets and two different-sized stones, It merges the natural and industrial in a poetic installation that reflects the surrounding environment of the Park.

Text: The Serpentine Gallery

The Sensory Experience: Ufan’s stones were sourced in Wales and this steel, mirrored sheet and stones sculpture are both smooth and rough, cool and hot, dull and reflective, and eerily steady and delicate.

Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Architect Frida Escobedo’s Serpentine Pavilion harnesses a subtle interplay of light, water and geometric form to create an atmospheric courtyard. The Pavilion is an enclosed courtyard, comprised of two rectangular volumes positioned at an angle.

Serpentine Pavilion 1
The lattice of cement roof tiles is supported by concealed metal rods. The tiles were cool to the touch, smooth and felt very solid to the touch.

Serpentine pavilion 2
The pond is cast into the Pavilion floor.

Ripples and shadows form an impressive part of the shallow pond as participants wade through gently
Ripples and shadows form an impressive part of the shallow pond as participants wade through gently.

Images: The top image shows the lattice of cement roof tiles supported by concealed metal rods.
The middle image shows the shallow pond.
The bottom image shows a VI and her companion walk in the shallow pond.

The Sensory Experience: Light is dispersed around this structure with an almost geometric consistency, a result of the layering of the lattice of cement roof tiles and the play and movement of light and shadow over the course of the day. The lattice seems like a trellis for the sun to drape its sunshine with, creating interesting shades in the process.

The ceiling also has the mirrored effect from reflective metal sheets installed onto it, leaving observers with a strange sense of the ground viewed from the top.

Tactile Paving, Exhibition Road.

Tactile pavings work in the same way as tactile delineators and are used as a system of surface indicators that can assist pedestrians who are visually impaired.

Sensory Trail Pix2
The blistered pavings are tactile paving embedded into the road as surface indicators.

Sensory Trail Pix 3
The blisters in the truncated domes are textured to give better grip.

Originally pioneered for Japanese subways, tactile delineators were first designed by Seiichi Miyake in 1965 and introduced to Okayama city, Japan, in 1967. They have now become popular in Australia, the US, UK and Canada. It became called Hazard guide for Visually Impaired in 1985.

The blistered pavings work well as they are a safe road indicator and hazard warning. Tactile delineators are also directional guides and can be both concrete slabs or metal embedded in the road. Some tactile pavings are painted to add contrast, usually yellow as is used in train and tube stations, while some designs offer pavings that match the colour of the surrounding building.

The Sensory Experience: Blistered pavings or tactile delineators are very effective surface indicators, especially for visually impaired pedestrians. There have been reports that people with a spectrum of autism find them uncomfortable. They also don’t seem to work as well in shared spaces, especially when directional tactile delineators are integrated across tactile pavings. Research continues on how shared spaces can be made safer for VI’s.

Sensory Trail Pix 5

Image: The above image shows five VI participants and a companion at the conclusion of the Sensory Trail. Three other VI’s and two companions were unable to stay for the extended trail that went on for an additional hour beyond the advertised time.

Our Thank You’s
A special thank you to everyone who participated in this Sensory Trail and for all the very useful discussions and contributions. Thank you also to Merton Sports and Social club.

ACCESSIBILITY

All the buildings and heritage sites we explored had step-free entrances, and there was only ever one moment when we chose to use the three steps at the west entrance to St Mary Abbots Parish Church as we explored the great west door.

Guide Dogs and all assistance dogs are welcome on our Sensory Trails.

There were accessible restrooms at High Street Kensington Station, Kensington Gardens and Serpentine Pavilion, our final stop.

Large print guides of this trail are available on request.

TO CONTACT MAMOMI

Email: mamomi.initiative@yahoo.com

Mobile: 07956 946 571

Social Media

Twitter: @mamomi_i

Instagram: mamomi_i

LinkedIn: Mamomi Initiative

CREDITS

Facilitators: Andrew Mashigo and Lynn Cox

Large Print Guide Design and Print: MaMoMi

Copyright: Mamomi Initiative CIC 2018

Website: http://www.mamomiinitiative.com

#SensoryTrail #SensoryTrailKensington

Mamomi Logo small 1

 

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

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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.

Edited Images.Ryan prince_22

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.

Edited Images.Ryan prince_25

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

Edited Images.Ryan prince_23

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

Edited Images.Ryan prince_35

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

Edited Images.Ryan prince_40

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.

Edited Images.Ryan prince_31.jpg

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

Displacement and Migration: mapping and soundscape

Designers in residence is a core part of Design Museum’s programme. Now in its 9th year, it reflects the museum’s commitment to providing support for designers in the early part of their careers.

The 2015 exhibition focuses on the theme of Migration, with four designers selected for their innovation and original thinking. Stephanie Hornig, Chris Green, Alexa Pollman and Hefin Jones were the Designers in Residence 2015.

The plan:

The Displacement and Migration multisensory tour was held on Saturday 9 January, and to have a good opportunity to investigate the narrative and critical nature of this exhibition, we divided the tour into three areas; Migration and Displacement, Migration and Mapping, and Migration and Soundscape.

The subject:

Migration and Displacement.
We can’t really talk about Migration without making a reference to what has been described as probably the world’s worst human tragedies, the current forced migration of people affecting parts of Eastern Europe and the Middle East. There is an argument against such a major displacement of people but research reveals that human migration has happened throughout history:

▪The biblical Exodus of the Israelite’s in the Old Testament records that “about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children” left Egypt. –   Exodus 12:37

▪ In Quebec history, 925,000 French Canadians were said to have left for the United States between 1840 and 1930, mostly due to political and economic reasons.

▪One of the greatest waves of immigrants to the USA was during the 1820’s to 1890’s, when more than 5 million immigrants arrived in America from Ireland and Germany.

▪Between the 16th and 19th centuries, about 11 million Africans were forced into slavery and brought to the Americas.

▪The Jewish Exodus from Arab and Muslim countries saw the Jewish migration include nearly all the 140,000 Jews from Algeria emigrating, mostly to France after Algerian independence in 1962.

Migration involves movement, mobility and transition and we can explore that idea with several objects, systems and processes. Objects are ideal for exploring spatial displacement and this tour uses definitive elements like form, shape, texture and density to explain its day-to-day manifestation. One question we asked was; do you know animals like the Caledonian bird use flexible thinking to solve multi-stage problems? When tested, a crow knows that dropping stones or gravel into a half-filled jar of water will cause the water level to rise to the top, making access to the water easier.

The Hourglass is another excellent object to explore elements of the cause and effect of material displacement. You clearly hear the sound of the sand travelling from one part of the hourglass to the other.

Migration and Mapping:
Chris Green’s Aerial Futures display shows 2 four-engine and 1 three-engine drone each mounted on metal stands. Chris’s practice forges new relationships between people, place and the city and this display was a main part of our interrogation of movement, mapping, surveillance and tracking.

It is worth noting that though most drones are 4-engine, Octocopters or eight-engine drones are more efficient for high-risk or longer range use so that a possible failure to the first set of engines is not terminal, allowing for extraction of the device from its operation.

Drone by Chris Green
Image: Chris Green’s  4-engine drone.
Copyright Chris Green, Drone 2015

Drones have become increasingly popular with flying enthusiasts but are also famously and excellently used in extensive and long-range research and activities like monitoring, surveillance and exploration. Because they are silent, precise and can be operated from a distance without detection, drones have excellent use during war, for exploring space and researching volcanoes. They are also used in farming and for mapping terrains.

A good example is the use of drones during the investigation of Katla, Iceland’s most active and dangerous volcano. Scientists are able to monitor seismic activity by capturing aerial images which detail 3D maps of the area. They also place monitors as close as possible to the core of the eruptions so GPS tracking systems gather data, which they feedback in real time.

Using Telematics is key to the work that goes on during mapping. Telematics are devices that merge telecommunications and infomatics and this includes anything from GPS systems to navigation systems. We see them featured in anything from vehicle trackers to hands-free mobile calling, and our mobile phones are an example of a Telematics device.

Animals also have very sophisticated processes and tracking abilities that help with mapping. An example is how bats use echoes from clicks to convey not only their distance to a target, but also the size, shape, speed, and vector of the objects movement. The bloodhounds ability to track game, the humpback whale’s ability to migrate from Antarctica to eastern Australia to give birth and mate during the winter and spring, and the rattle snake’s ability to track its prey after striking are among varying elements of tracking and mapping that are constantly used by animals and in wildlife.

Echolocation allows dolphins to tell the difference between types of fish, and can identify size, shape and weight by the echo that comes back to them. They can also easily discern the difference between objects that are different in material composition, even if visually identical, by their different densities.

Alexa Pollman’s Indivicracy display is about the concept of a future nation where a new form of government for the 21st century is created, in which societies exist without borders or territory. Allowing for free movement, the citizen’s are constantly moving between places, with governance in place to protect individuals who choose to migrate borders of settled societies.

Trackpack. For DM Jan blog
Image: Alexi Pollman’s Trackpack.
Copyright Alexi Pollman, Trackpack 2015.

Alexi also challenges the current notion of “wear” and her display suggests ideas for future garments like the super-insulated gloves called Typers, the masks, the Jumping-jackers shoes and the Trackpack, what i can only describe as a one-piece raincoat attached to a back-pack and constructed into a shopping trolley on wheels.

Migration and Soundscape.
Sound is transmitted from a source to the surrounding air when particles vibrate or collide, and this vibration passes the sound energy along to our ears. Without any particles to vibrate, we would not hear the sound. With this knowledge, our activity explored various sounds and recorded our responses.

Sound exercise at the Design Museum

Using the learning studio, our Soundscape activity involved the use of six different sounds. Participants listened to and identified various sounds at intervals, and were asked what each sound represented to them. They could either draw or name their response, whether as a visual representation or an emotion, and the results were really interesting. Participants said they experienced various emotions, from elation, nostalgia, happiness to soothing relaxation.

The next tour:
The next multisensory event will tour the current Cycle Revolution exhibition at the end of march. This tour will examine the revolution of bicycle design, and investigate material and function. It will also include a demonstration of a bicycle for the blind and visually impaired.

More information, date and booking details will be uploaded to Design Museum’s website shortly.

MaMoMi. All rights reserved 2016.

Displacement and Migration: A multi-sensory tour

The next multi-sensory tour at the Design Museum is titled Displacement and Migration.

Design Museum Jan tour
Design Museum, Shad Thames, London
Date: Saturday 9 January 2016
Time: 14:00

This tour will investigate migration, displacement and movement. Starting at Designers in Residence 2015, this tour will highlight elements of movement and mapping. The tour includes a session in the museum’s Learning studio, to explore the resources and enable discussion around movement and mapping.

Tours are free for blind and partially sighted visitors and their companions, including exhibition entry.

Advance booking is recommended but not essential. The tour meets in the museum foyer 10 minutes before the session is due to begin.

If you are interested in this tour, please use the online form here or call +44 (0)20 7940 8782.

Read more at: http://designmuseum.org/plan-your-visit/access/touch-tours/displacement-and-migration-a-multi-sensory-tour#sthash.l5R5nK5l.dpuf

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

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.

Feel the Force Day 2014 | The Accessibility Event |

FeelTheForceDay2014

About

Feel The Force Day, Co-founded by JJ Lucia-Wright, is the world’s only film and TV conventions designed for visually impaired people, disabled people and people with learning difficulties.
Description
Feel the Force Day is an accessible film and TV event designed for visually impaired and disabled people.

Their first event, held in Peterborough in October 2013, attracted over 400 people and was the first of its kind, in the World, EVER! They continue to build their audience and had more attractions in a bigger venue for the 2014 event, Feel the Force Day: Access All Areas, which recently held on the 18th of this month. 
Star Wars actor Warwick Davis was among more than 2,000 people to attend the film and television fans’ convention. See the event featured in national media below.
Star Wars explained in touch and smell in Peterborough Event. BBC News Cambridgeshire

Each event typically includes tactile costumes, props, vehicles, TV and film related smell jars plus a few new and original ideas at each event. This year saw a remarkable turnout. See more from national media publication below.
Accessible Star Wars lets disabled Feel the Force. BBC News

Feel The Force Days encourages a fun and friendly atmosphere, so whatever your disability, get in touch and come along – carers, support workers and communication assistants will always have free entry.
 
Accessible Star Wars lets disabled people feel the force. CBBC Newsround
The 2015 event is already getting booked so check the link below for more information on booking and to contact the Feel The Force Day Team.
Book your tickets for the 2015 event, Feel the Force Day: Part III, booked for Saturday 10th of October 2015 at KingsGate Conference Centre, via this link:
Contacts
All information used permission 1st Sensory Legion, for Feel The Force Day 2014. Copyright 2014