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.


Life’s little Adventures

Julie Imus.

Julie Imus is a visually challenged American artist residing in Iowa. A lover of nature, animals and the outdoors, she is an adventurer whose faith in God has given her the ability to overcome the challenges of oil painting with very little sight.

She was always interested in painting from an early age and learnt to paint even better between art classes at school and the Bob Ross programs. Bob Ross was an American landscape painter and television host who was best known as the creator and host of The Joy of Painting, a television program that aired in the US and several other countries between 1983 and 1994.

In June of 2007 Julie lost the vision in her left eye, after already having had retinal damage in her right eye. At that point she thought she would never paint again but in the fall of 2011, she felt God very strongly told her to go back to painting, and as she says, “by God’s, hand I am still able to do so.”

The Hiding Place
Oil on canvas. 16 x 20 inch

“This painting came into existence because of a Bob Ross lesson I was watching one day. In this particular episode, Bob was instructing viewers how to make a whole forest of trees in a simple way. I was keen to try out this method and started thinking about the woods and remembered how i used to ride in the woods years ago, and seeing a fawn hiding in the bushes. So here we see how a childhood adventure, Bob Ross instruction, my imagination and love of nature collectively gave me what I needed to paint this piece.”

Winter Feed
Oil on canvas. 18 x 24 inch

Julie’s brother Jay is a hunter, and currently elk hunting in Colorado. He had told her, one day a few weeks previously, that he would like a painting of a whitetail buck deer, something to fit into a “woodsy” theme going through his house. So she painted Winter Feed for his birthday in September, a great addition to his collection.

Wild Within


Oil on canvas. 16 x 20 inch

“As some of you may know, I love horses and rode daily when I was a kid. The only times i did not ride were on stormy days and very cold winter days. One day i saw a photo online of this horse, and i thought she was so gorgeous I had to paint her. I want to do some black and white paintings as i think they look so good.

While I was painting this, a thought occurred to me, and I began to wonder how many domesticated horses would love to just run wild, hence the title of this painting. This is one painting i really enjoyed doing and my plan is to paint more black and white horses, and probably just adding one color for interest.”

To see more of Julie’s paintings or to commission her, contact by clicking here for the Julie Imus Art page on Facebook

Images used with the permission of Julie Imus. 2015

Note: Originally posted on September 19, 2015

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

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

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

Design Museum Tour. July 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Split Rock Winter.

The winter season usually brings a refreshing outlook to our environment. I say refreshing because it is usually accompanied with snow flakes and snow, and the joy of a landscape filled with cold white flakes, well that’s what i hear the kids say they like about the snow!

Julie Imus recently moved back to Minnesota from Arizona, a place she had lived in for many years with her husband John. The long summer months in Arizona had provided Julie a place where she was inspired by the greenery, wildlife and sometimes the relics of abandoned trucks in the fields. But now the family are settling in Minnesota, we were keen to see how this new environment would inspire or influence Julie’s latest paintings. This new landscape was not just a different landscape to paint from but it has given Julie an opportunity to try out paints and paintings in ways she had never done before. So, here we see 4 serene paintings, calm and peaceful in their depiction but also fiery in their visual possibilities. Hot summers may have shown Julie’s works in its predominantly fiery composition, but the winter weather here reveals its fiery possibility, almost like the calm before the Storm!

MaMoMi: What has been the biggest changes for you and your art practice since you left Arizona to move back to Minnesota?
Julie Imus: It has been an interesting year to say the least as I never thought I would be doing so many oil paintings. I also never thought we’d move back to Minnesota from Arizona at the beginning of the cold season, but i truly did miss my family here in Minnesota, and am thrilled to be back. After finally finding a house to live in I thought it was time to begin painting again, and what better way to start than with COLD paintings. The biggest immediate change was trying to get the new art room organized and finding the right space to paint in, as the room here was much smaller than the one in Arizona. Trying to put everything in a spot where things were easy to get to was also a challenge and lighting was an issue as well, but it has all been figured out now and the space works well for me. Since moving I have met a few people who love my work and I have just been commissioned to do 3 paintings, so being back here was definitely a good move for my art.
Split Rock Winter
Oil on Canvas

My son Clayton called me one morning to tell me about an art contest. The Minnesota Vikings, a professional American football team based in Minneapolis, are building a new football stadium and looking to hang works of local artists in the new stadium and Clayton wanted me to enter the contest. I decided to add things pertaining to Minnesota in my entries, and one well know place is the Split Rock Lighthouse in Two Harbors, Minnesota. It is in the far North East part of the state on Lake Superior, and is very cold up there. So this was my first choice for the contest.

MaMoMi: Does the cold weather change how you view and reproduce your subject matter?
Julie: Yes, the colder weather has definitely given me new inspiration. I have always loved the winters here, but i think i took the beauty of the snow for granted. But my time away from the winter weather, snow and the cold as given my painting a new lease of life! There is so much beauty in the snow, God surely knew what he was doing when he made it! The way dead grass pokes up through the snow is wonderful, and when you add a fence post and a barn, and a few trees, then you have a great painting. There is just so much life in the winter, and I know people think winter is a lifeless time of year in nature, which really isn’t true.

The snow does affect the way I view my subject matter because it is a little harder for me to see when outdoors. I am a visually impaired artist and because the snow is so bright, and coupled with the bright sunshine, it makes working outdoors a bit more challenging as the light can be overpowering. Many times i am not even able to see a wall in front of me, and sometimes when out walking the dogs and i call out to them, its kind of amusing when I think they are still running around when they were already at my feet!
Quiet Snow Fall
Oil on Canvas

With the misty snowy days in mind I decided to do another snow scene and I really enjoyed doing this one. A friend of mine had taken some photos in Northern Minnesota last summer and I borrowed the trees from that photo, added an old cabin and snow, and called the painting Quiet Snowfall. It is so wonderful to be back in my home state, having my son and grandchildren so close and other family, plus there is so much painting inspiration here for me…what a blessing!

There is just so much life in the winter, … and people think winter is a lifeless time of year… which really isn’t true.”

December Snow
Oil on Canvas

This is another painting I decided to enter into a contest. The rule for this contest was for the submission to be one that used the artists techniques of a similar painting, one that he had done on his television series. So I watched the video, changed it up to make my own version of it, and then entered it in the contest. The result Is this painting called December Snow.

MaMoMi: Are you thinking of changing your painting medium?
Julie: I was rather amused when you asked about changing my medium. My favorite painting medium is oil paint, but I have been thinking about using a mix of mediums. I may try acrylics mixed with charcoal and pastels as it seems that I can get better detail in my paintings. I am currently doing some more research on it and hope to start experimenting with that soon.
Minnesota Morning
Oil on canvas

I wanted to give water-based oil paint a try, so I picked up and trialled black and white paint. As we had the dogs out by a lake one morning I snapped a photo of the sun shining on the lake, and the result of that photo was the painting I call Minnesota Morning. This was fun to do because I took the photograph of this location myself whereas in the past I would use someone else’s photos. I also felt a real sense of achievement because, of all the paintings I have done, this was the first using just black and white paint. My husband loved this one so much it is now hanging in his work office.


To commission a painting or purchase one of the paintings listed, please contact Julie’s Art via telephone at 641-390-1738 (Minnesota, US) or via her Facebook art page http://www.facebook.com/JulieImusart

Article written by Andrew Mashigo, for MaMoMi
Twitter: @mamomi_i

Feel the Force Day 2014 | The Accessibility Event |



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.
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:
All information used permission 1st Sensory Legion, for Feel The Force Day 2014. Copyright 2014


Access at the Design Museum: July 2014.

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

Closes on 25th of August.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Designed by Roland Lamb and Hong-Yeul Eom

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

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


Designed by Volkswagen

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

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


Designed by Johan Cesling

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

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


Designed by 6a Architects.

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

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

Booking a tour:

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

View the Design Museum website at www.designmuseum.org

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



Seeing with the Voice of Joy. 6th, August 2013

Ranveig on a tour of a building. Image copyright © MaMoMi initiative 2012.

Choosing to mentor anyone takes a fair amount of belief in oneself and it

is remarkable that Ranveig Bredesen feels the need to inspire or guide

other people. In her words, she says “it is important to share role-model



Ranveig has never had any sight as she was born totally blind. I met her in

July 2012 when she visited London from Norway, and requested a tour to a

Museum.  In Oslo, where Ranveig is from, there are quite a few blind people

gathered in small communities around town, while others live more solitary.

Her perception is that blind people often are viewed as pretty regular folk but

there is sometimes quite a bit of fuss the first time a sighted person meets a

blind person. Well, at least that is what she has observed.

People’s fears.
Many people are often afraid of asking questions, worried that they would
overstep some boundaries. On the other, many people believe that blind
people are super-human but strangely behave differently when she started
walking with a guide dog. While walking with a cane, many people
would previously react by asking “do you need any help?” but now
with a guide dog, people just keep their distance.
As Ranveig says, “I think it is for two reasons.
1. people perceive blind people with guide dogs as very independent and very
good at managing on their own.
2. they are afraid of disturbing the work of the user and the dog, and don’t
know how to approach.

Interestingly, there is also the question of how visually impaired or blind

people view sighted people. Ranveig asks, “Is there an expectation for

to be our helpers and servants, or are we expecting them to simply be our

friends? (or hopefully, something in between).”

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” – William Blake

Identifying things and Moving around.

When asked how she perceives things, Ranveig says she uses her hearing quite

a bit, listening to how cars, people and other objects are moving, as this tells

a lot about the room and space. With tactile process of feeling walls and

doorways with her hands, and the ground using a cane, she can feel the

difference between stone, grass, carpet and other surfaces. The angular

terrain of fields helps her identify hills and steps, although that becomes a

little difficult after a snowfall or severe weather.


She has also found ways to label her household items,e.g. by fastening a small

transparent piece of tape, cut in a specific shape, on the back of her mobile

phone or on her mobile phone charger. She also uses tape or hairbands to show

a difference between her hair shampoo and hair conditioner. “I could make

three tiny cuts at the shaft of my rubber-boot (not visible to others), or use

a small file to make small marks at the bottom of reusable plastic cups.”

Her Inspirations.
Ranveig is inspired when she meets older blind people living an independent life
as she gets to learn from their experiences, and even learn from their failures.
This encourages her of the possibility of her own independence. “It also
encourages me when my actions can help other blind people ‘move forward'”,
she says with a smile.
She recounts a time when the school she studied at did not
remember much about how to manage incoming blind students. She had
to write them to tell them what to do. Since then, another blind friend who
started at school and went into the school system without any problems.
They now know how to order her books and with her learning needs.

Tips for success.

When asked what her best tips for her success so far, she says “Just ask for

help when you need it. Also, try helping others with the experience you have.

Remember, No question is stupid. Also, find a place where you feel secure

enough to let your guard down, a place where you can cry if you need to.

When the sorrow of a situation is gone, learn from any mistakes, even laugh

at them, and think how you can do things differently next time. If a failure

comes (and it will at some point), think of how well you solved it, once you

resolve it!”


Ranveig says it is a good thing to “be honest about your challenges, but also

see the opportunities that may lie within those challenges.” She knows that

getting lost can be a very discouraging experience for any blind person,

when you make the effort to know a new area. Interestingly, she has found

that asking people for help can also lead to new lasting friendships.


On the question of her goals and objectives for the future, foremost on her

mind is finishing her masters degree, and equally important is that she

remains in a position where she can continue to inspire others and live her

life as well as she can.


Seeing with the voice of joy is a positive outlook to life, one more of us

may need.

So, why Touch the Art then? 15th May 2013

The pressure of the hands causes the springs of life to flow.” – Tokujiro Namikoshi

Museums are an incredibly engaging environment to spend time in,

whether you are a young student on a school trip, an art student,

a tourist, a parent on a fun day-out with the kids, a tourist, or a

company executive taking time on lunch to unwind, there is always

something to either engage, inspire, amuse or challenge you.

But what kind of engagement can you expect to experience, or

is available to you, if you are a visually impaired or blind visitor?

The beauty of Modern and contemporary art is its relevance to us,

in the here and now, transcending traditional art and a precursor

of conceptual art. Conceptual art in itself is an art type borne out

of ideas, where the visual appearance of the work of art is not an

essential point, often times taking a secondary, probably even

less important significance.

Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.” – Carl G. Jung

Touch is one of the 5 senses (which includes sight, hearing, smell

and taste) and while the other senses are located in specific parts

of the body,the sense of touch is found all over the body. The

things we physically come into contact with pass a wide range

of information about their physical characteristics and it is this

information and message that registers in our brain, originating

from the nerve endings on the body via the spinal cord to the brain.

The Somatic sensory system is responsible for our sense of touch

and the  most common receptors in the body are heat, cold, pain and

pressure, and the hands and finger-tips are the most sensitive areas

of our body. The exploratory or inquisitive kind of touch experienced

through this tactile process helps us learn about the world around us.

From the moment we walk into a space, our sense of touch gathers

millions of fragments of information from the surrounding area, from

the cold metal door handle, the hard desk, the soft coat, the hot

coffee, the wet kiss from the dog’s nose, the rough living-room rug,

the smooth table top, and the temperature, texture, weight and sense

of weight of the other objects we come in contact with.

This amazing daily journey, receiving a constant train of

communication from our sense receptors to the brain, is a

natural process that helps us make associations with our

surroundings, and one that is utilized to give the visually

impaired and blind visitor an experience of artworks

in Museums.

Hands are the heart’s landscape” – Pope John Paul II

The Touch tours program in most Museums use this valuable process

to engage with the artworks. Touch does not replicate nor does it

give the same visual perception as the sense of sight but it does

provide a platform where the visualization process of mind-mapping

and mental imagery can be exploited by the visually impaired and

blind visitor, ultimately supporting a greater exploration and

understanding of the characteristics of the objects and works of

art before them.

Touching the art does not only allow the visually impaired and blind

access to artworks but it also encourages new lines of conversation,

dialogue and discussions between the visually impaired and blind,

other interest groups and the art world in general.

Poll: What sculpture would you most want to touch?

Finally, it is worth mentioning that Museums and art galleries are

continually pushing the boundaries and developing new ways of

exploring the varied range of Modern and contemporary art, without

compromising the health and life of the works of art. Curators, art

educators, other museum staff and the viewing public all have a

responsibility to preserve and conserve these valuable works for

generations to come. Museums have guidelines in place to protect

the touchable collection in Museums from damage during these tours,

and you can read my article,

Developing touch tours, which looks at best practice in balancing

access needs and conservation.

I guess the growing challenge is to find more ways to engage

conceptual art, so that these ideas-based art type can also be

shared with and explored by the visually impaired and blind visitors

to Museums.