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EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN
CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY
IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
ii
CERTIFICATION
This is to certify that the dissertation “EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN
APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AW...
iii
DECLARATION
I, OGUNSANYA DAMILARE DAMISI with matriculation number 159051037 of the
Department of Architecture, Univer...
iv
DEDICATION
I dedicate this thesis to my niece Ogunsanya Oyindamola Dorothy and to the blessed
loving memory of Adebayo ...
v
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
My sincere gratitude, appreciation and respect goes to almighty God who has not denied me of
his grace, ...
vi
ABSTRACT
This thesis, “Exploring Audio-Tactile Design Approaches in Creating a Home-Away-From-
Home for Visually Impair...
vii
TABLE OF CONTENTS Page
TITLE PAGE I
CERTIFICATION II
DECLARATION III
DEDICATION IV
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT V
ABSTRACT VI
TABLE...
viii
2.6.2 SIGHT.............................................................................................................
ix
4.4.3 DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS ....................................................................................66
4.5 ...
x
LIST OF FIGURES Page
Figure 2-1 Normal vision view of scene (Source: www.wikipedia.org)....................................
xi
Figure 2-34 Variety of fragrant plants and flowers in the perimeter gardens as constant
sensors (Source: www.archdaily....
xii
Figure 4-25 Image showing Block-B prototype floor plans (Source: Author)........................74
Figure 4-26 Image s...
1
1 CHAPTER ONE – INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
A loss or lack of vision does not deny an individual of all aes...
2
olfactory and acoustic experiences by not giving equal consideration to them and make vision
the architectural priority?...
3
There is a problem of tendency of this ocular-centrism to subvert and eliminate the contribution
of our other senses. Th...
4
1.3 AIM & OBJECTIVES
The aim of this study is to explore audio-tactile design approaches in the design of a hostel
facil...
5
As regards limitations encountered in the course of conducting this research, – the greatest
being a lack of credible in...
6
Sensory is the term relating to a nerve fibre or impulse originating outside and passing
toward the central nervous syst...
7
2 CHAPTER TWO – LITERATURE REVIEW AND CASE STUDIES
Architecture in its totality is a very good test of a society’s true ...
8
2.1 HISTORICAL REVIEW AND STATISTICS
According to WHO facts sheet page as current as October 2017;
• An estimated 253 mi...
9
al. 2012), with the greatest gap between existing need and provision (Bastawrous & Hennig
2012).
The statistics are simp...
10
They established the first school for the blind in Gindiri and this was an eye opener, to the
emergence of other specia...
11
persons with disabilities until circa 1970. Zindi (1997) opines that complete involvement in the
education of the disab...
12
and physically engage with the building, becoming more aware of their surroundings. Like the
sighted, the blind walk th...
13
In the world of the visually impaired, each person’s impairment severity defers and a high
percentage has some degree o...
14
Figure 2-3 Macular Degeneration view of scene (Source: www.wikipedia.org)
Figure 2-4 Tunnel vision of scene (Source: ww...
15
Figure 2-5 Diabetic Retinopathy View of Scene (Source: www.wikipedia.org)
2.4.3 NOT ALL VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS ARE ...
16
impact way-finding has on human psychology, occupant satisfaction, health, long-term
performance, and the financial bot...
17
• Information way-finding design
Architectural way-finding focuses on way-finding in built forms and urban settings bec...
18
Exterior way-finding obstacles are common, including poor identification of building entrances
and lack of clear access...
19
Figure 2-7 Building Form (The Neuroscience Building, La Jolla, California) (Source: www.wikipedia.org)
Figure 2-8 Legib...
20
Figure 2-9 Integrated environmental graphics (Severance Hospital, Seoul, South Korea) (Source:
www.dictionary.cambridge...
21
• Way-finding design guidelines and best practices vary by building type, size, and layout;
urban, suburban or rural lo...
22
• The use of a cane; which acts as an extended limb and guides or provides warning upon
obstacles, crowd‘s footpaths an...
23
screen and have the same effect. If we can take so much sensuous pleasure sitting in front of a
fire, why not with arch...
24
But information garnered to understand the nature of the space by sight makes the experience
gained incompletes. Sensit...
25
textural difference but also a temperature difference, producing variety in experience - stone is
never cold like steel...
26
Spatial volume variation or contrast is an experience that can also be felt and sensed by an
occupant through a sense o...
27
Figure 2-13 Thermal Baths, Peter Zumthor, 1996 (Source: www.archdaily.com)
Tactile maps are a means of communicating sp...
28
2.6.5 SMELL
Charles Moore designed a house for a blind client in which he positioned high windows for
ventilation. Spec...
29
delineate architectural elements. Red has been used for the exterior walls, the structural system
is indicated in yello...
30
Figure 2-16 Chapel of St Ignatius, Steven Holl 1994 (Source: www.seattleu.edu)
Figure 2-17 Chapel of St Ignatius, Steve...
31
2.7 DESIGN INITIATIVES FROM A BLIND ANGLE
The current design innovations for the visually impaired are escalating at an...
32
2.7.2 AUDITORY SENSE
It is essential for a visually impaired child to learn and distinguish multiple sounds in an
indiv...
33
to understand its connections. Using the tactile senses is a slower process than the visual,
because the person must es...
34
were no differences in accuracy between the groups by the third trial of the study when they
were asked to verbalize, p...
35
They help reduce the light intensity and give the classrooms some kind of cool and habitable
ambience. As stained windo...
36
Figure 2-22 Pool area of the school (Source: Author)
Figure 2-24 Picture showing use of guard rails on outdoor walkways...
37
2.8.2 FOREIGN CASE STUDIES
2.8.2.1 ANCHOR CENTRE FOR THE BLIND
Anchor Centre for Blind Children is designed by Davis pa...
38
Figure 2-25 Exterior of building at day (Source: www.davispartnership.com)
Figure 2-26 Exterior of the building at nigh...
39
Figure 2-27 Kaleidoscope and motor room (Source: www.davispartnership.com)
Figure 2-28 Interior spaces (Source: www.dav...
40
2.8.2.2 THE CENTRE FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED, MEXICO
Institute of Blind, Mexico is designed by Mauricio Rocha...
41
Multiple instances of coloured glass are incorporated distinguish certain areas whilst providing
navigational landmarks...
42
Figure 2-31 Sketch of different textures (tactile clues) employed on building’s surfaces (Source: www.archdaily.com)
Fi...
43
Figure 2-33 Water channel running through the plaza as a sound guide (Source: www.archdaily.com)
Figure 2-34 Variety of...
44
2.8.2.3 INSTITUTE FOR THE BLIND, BUDAPEST
Institute of Blind, Budapest is designed by A4 Studio architects, located in ...
45
Figure 2-35 Exterior view of building (Source: www.archdaily.com)
Figure 2-36 Exterior view of building (Source: www.ar...
46
Figure 2-37 Perforated metal sheets used to reduce strong light transmission or glare (Source: www.archdaily.com)
Figur...
47
2.8.2.4 HAZELWOOD SCHOOL
Hazelwood’s plan resembles a sea horse with its long axis running roughly east–west. Ten
class...
48
wavered from its intention of building with timber, which the architect calls “warm and good
to touch—it creates a non-...
49
Figure 2-40 A cork-wrapped “sensory wall” helps students find their way through Hazelwood’s main corridor (Source:
www....
50
3 CHAPTER THREE – RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 METHODOLOGY
Qualitative research is research undertaken to gain insights con...
51
Interviews: A couple of informal and semi-structured interviews were carried out. They were
done with a couple of the v...
52
Internet: Both foreign and local relevant sources of information which could not be reached
physically were explored el...
53
3.3.1 DEMOGRAPHICS
The University of Lagos presently has thirty-seven thousand, seven hundred and eighty-four
(37,784) ...
54
3.3.2 INTERVIEWS
The purpose of these interviews was to determine the current users’ level of satisfaction with
existin...
55
4 CHAPTER FOUR – DESIGN
4.1 STUDY AREA
The University of Lagos, also known as UNILAG, is a Federal Government research ...
56
4.1.1 SITE LOCATION
The site is located along the northern boundary of the campus and is currently accessible
through M...
57
over 30 years and has thrived in the education sector and the presence of good infrastructure
has played an immense rol...
58
Prevailing Winds
Two dominant prevailing winds dominate the region based on the seasons. In the dry season
between Octo...
59
Sunshine
Lagos state being a coastal city experiences low clouds with sunshine of up to eight or nine
hours and a minim...
60
Opportunities
• Virgin land may be designed to overcome the site’s natural challenges.
• The proposed development may t...
61
4.3.2 PROJECT REQUIREMENTS AND SPATIAL REQUIREMENTS
• Access control and security
• Administration & Porter Accommodati...
62
4.4 CONCEPTUAL DESIGN
4.4.1 DESIGN CONCEPT
The major concepts of design for this project were the notions of Simplicity...
63
Figure 4-3 Image of room configuration sketches (Source: Author)
Figure 4-4 Image of prototype evolution sketches (Sour...
64
The design was tasked with making locomotion as simple as possible. Here, all circulation
paths both indoor and outdoor...
65
4.4.2 BUBBLE DIAGRAM AND SPATIAL RELATIONSHIP DIAGRAMS
Figure 4-7 Bubble diagram (Source: Author)
Figure 4-8 Bubble dia...
66
4.4.3 DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
In relation to the design considerations visually impaired people are divided into 2 catego...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSI...
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EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS

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This thesis, “Exploring Audio-Tactile Design Approaches in Creating a Home-Away-From-Home for Visually Impaired Students in the University of Lagos” identified the existing barriers and challenges of the visually impaired students in their existing resident hostels and then explored audio-tactile design approaches in the design of a hostel facility for visually impaired students.
The scope of this study is within the University of Lagos, Akoka in the tropics of South Western Nigeria. Case studies – both local and international were provided on similar existing buildings and in-depth analysis was done on the various audio-tactile and multi-sensory design approaches employed in these respective buildings to aid liveability and way-finding for their visually impaired occupants.
The research methodology for this study was qualitative with meticulous analysis of the study area, the gathered data from demographic statistics and interviews from respondents – the visually impaired students.
Deductions and conclusions were made with a further recommendation of the incorporation of multi-sensory design approaches—which have been explored and discussed in this thesis in future designs. This can enhance meeting user needs including the visually impaired students who are not left at a disadvantage because of their physical challenges

Publié dans : Environnement
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EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS

  1. 1. EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS BY OGUNSANYA DAMILARE DAMISI 159051037 A THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE, UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS, IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF MASTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN (M.E.D) DEGREE IN ARCHITECTURE DECEMBER, 2017
  2. 2. ii CERTIFICATION This is to certify that the dissertation “EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS” with matriculation number 159051037 of the Department of Architecture, University of Lagos is an original work and meets the regulations governing the award of Master of Environmental Design (M.ED) degree in Architecture, and is approved for its contribution to knowledge and literary presentation. Ogunsanya Damilare Damisi Date Dr. A.K. Adebayo Date (Supervisor) Dr. A.K. Adebayo Date (Head of Department)
  3. 3. iii DECLARATION I, OGUNSANYA DAMILARE DAMISI with matriculation number 159051037 of the Department of Architecture, University of Lagos, hereby declare that this dissertation titled “EXPLORING AUDIO-TACTILE DESIGN APPROACHES IN CREATING A HOME- AWAY-FROM-HOME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS” was compiled by me. OGUNSANYA, Damilare Damisi
  4. 4. iv DEDICATION I dedicate this thesis to my niece Ogunsanya Oyindamola Dorothy and to the blessed loving memory of Adebayo Adepeju Racheal.
  5. 5. v ACKNOWLEDGEMENT My sincere gratitude, appreciation and respect goes to almighty God who has not denied me of his grace, mercy, protection and fulfilment before, during and after the programme duration. I thank my parents; Rev. and Hon. Justice Ogunsanya, my siblings – Damola and Dunni, and all other relatives – especially Mummy Bisola who have projected their support both morally and financially. I thank Giwa Bimpe for her help in pointing me in right direction with important material relevant to this study. Thank you, Ogunderu Naomi for all the help you rendered as regards my Microsoft Word formatting challenges. I want to thank Akinola Olanrewaju for being my human alarm clock during the course of this thesis and providing support and that extra push needed towards the end. Andu Bolawole, thank you for the constructive threats and always reminding me how important this was. I love you. I would like to thank Arc. Savage and my supervisor – Dr. A.K. Adebayo for their guidance, understanding and patience throughout the project work; constructive criticism, optimistic demeanour and encouragement during the process of writing this thesis till the end. I thank Dr. A.K. Adebayo especially for his leadership role geared towards the timely completion of this programme, to other distinguished lecturers and staff of the Department of Architecture, University of Lagos, those that have imparted in me directly and indirectly, I give you utmost gratitude and appreciation.
  6. 6. vi ABSTRACT This thesis, “Exploring Audio-Tactile Design Approaches in Creating a Home-Away-From- Home for Visually Impaired Students in the University of Lagos” identified the existing barriers and challenges of the visually impaired students in their existing resident hostels and then explored audio-tactile design approaches in the design of a hostel facility for visually impaired students. The scope of this study is within the University of Lagos, Akoka in the tropics of South Western Nigeria. Case studies – both local and international were provided on similar existing buildings and in-depth analysis was done on the various audio-tactile and multi-sensory design approaches employed in these respective buildings to aid liveability and way-finding for their visually impaired occupants. The research methodology for this study was qualitative with meticulous analysis of the study area, the gathered data from demographic statistics and interviews from respondents – the visually impaired students. Deductions and conclusions were made with a further recommendation of the incorporation of multi-sensory design approaches—which have been explored and discussed in this thesis in future designs. This can enhance meeting user needs including the visually impaired students who are not left at a disadvantage because of their physical challenges .
  7. 7. vii TABLE OF CONTENTS Page TITLE PAGE I CERTIFICATION II DECLARATION III DEDICATION IV ACKNOWLEDGEMENT V ABSTRACT VI TABLE OF CONTENTS VII LIST OF FIGURES X 1 CHAPTER ONE – INTRODUCTION...........................................................................1 1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY .......................................................................................1 1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT.....................................................................................................2 1.3 AIM & OBJECTIVES ............................................................................................................4 1.4 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF WORK...............................................................................4 1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY ................................................................................................5 1.6 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS.........................................................................5 2 CHAPTER TWO – LITERATURE REVIEW AND CASE STUDIES ......................7 2.1 HISTORICAL REVIEW AND STATISTICS........................................................................8 2.2 GLOBAL BLINDNESS ERADICATION REVIEW.............................................................9 2.3 HISTORY OF EDUCATION OF THE NIGERIAN BLIND CHILD ...................................9 2.3.1 THE PRE-MISSIONARY STAGE...............................................................................10 2.3.2 THE MISSIONARY STAGE .......................................................................................10 2.3.3 THE POST-MISSIONARY STAGE............................................................................10 2.4 BLINDNESS.........................................................................................................................11 2.4.1 UNDERSTANDING THE CLIENT, A BLIND PERSPECTIVE................................12 2.4.2 SEEING WHAT THE BLIND SEES ...........................................................................12 2.4.3 NOT ALL VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS ARE THE SAME .........................15 2.5 ARCHITECTURAL WAY-FINDING.................................................................................15 2.5.1 WAY-FINDING CHALLENGE AND ITS IMPORTANCE TO DESIGN.................15 2.5.2 DESIGN GUIDELINES ...............................................................................................20 2.5.3 NAVIGATION TECHNIQUES ...................................................................................21 2.6 SENSES AND MULTI – SENSORY ARCHITECTURE ...................................................22 2.6.1 BEAUTY, SCIENTIFICALLY, HISTORICALLY AND PHILOSOPHICALLY ......22
  8. 8. viii 2.6.2 SIGHT...........................................................................................................................23 2.6.3 SOUND.........................................................................................................................24 2.6.4 TOUCH.........................................................................................................................24 2.6.5 SMELL .........................................................................................................................28 2.6.6 COLOUR AND LIGHT................................................................................................28 2.7 DESIGN INITIATIVES FROM A BLIND ANGLE............................................................31 2.7.1 RESIDUAL VISION ....................................................................................................31 2.7.2 AUDITORY SENSE.....................................................................................................32 2.7.3 TACTILE SENSE.........................................................................................................32 2.7.4 OLFACTORY SENSE .................................................................................................33 2.7.5 KINAESTHETIC SENSE.............................................................................................33 2.8 CASE STUDIES...................................................................................................................34 2.8.1 LOCAL CASE STUDIES.............................................................................................34 2.8.2 FOREIGN CASE STUDIES.........................................................................................37 3 CHAPTER THREE – RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ...........................................50 3.1 METHODOLOGY ...............................................................................................................50 3.2 DATA COLLECTION .........................................................................................................50 3.2.1 TYPES OF DATA COLLECTED................................................................................50 3.3 DATA ANALYSIS...............................................................................................................52 3.3.1 DEMOGRAPHICS .......................................................................................................53 3.3.2 INTERVIEWS ..............................................................................................................54 4 CHAPTER FOUR – DESIGN.......................................................................................55 4.1 STUDY AREA .....................................................................................................................55 4.1.1 SITE LOCATION.........................................................................................................56 4.1.2 CLIMATIC CHARACTERISTICS, SOIL AND VEGETATION...............................56 4.1.3 POPULATION .............................................................................................................56 4.2 SITE SELECTION AND ANALYSIS.................................................................................57 4.2.1 CRITERIA FOR SITE SELECTION ...........................................................................57 4.2.2 SITE ANALYSIS .........................................................................................................57 4.2.3 S.W.O.T. (STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES & THREATS) ASSESSMENT.............................................................................................................................59 4.3 DESIGN BRIEF....................................................................................................................60 4.3.1 DESIGN/CLIENT’S BRIEF.........................................................................................60 4.3.2 PROJECT REQUIREMENTS AND SPATIAL REQUIREMENTS...........................61 4.4 CONCEPTUAL DESIGN.....................................................................................................62 4.4.1 DESIGN CONCEPT.....................................................................................................62 4.4.2 BUBBLE DIAGRAM AND SPATIAL RELATIONSHIP DIAGRAMS....................65
  9. 9. ix 4.4.3 DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS ....................................................................................66 4.5 DESIGN DEVELOPMENT .................................................................................................72 4.5.1 PRESENTATION DRAWINGS ..................................................................................72 5 CHAPTER FIVE – CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS .......................84 5.1 RELEVANCE TO ARCHITECTURE .................................................................................84 5.2 CONCLUSION.....................................................................................................................84 5.3 RECOMMENDATION ........................................................................................................85 REFERENCES .............................................................................................................................86
  10. 10. x LIST OF FIGURES Page Figure 2-1 Normal vision view of scene (Source: www.wikipedia.org).................................13 Figure 2-2 Cataracts vision view of scene (Source: www.wikipedia.org) ..............................13 Figure 2-3 Macular Degeneration view of scene (Source: www.wikipedia.org) ....................14 Figure 2-4 Tunnel vision of scene (Source: www.wikipedia.org)...........................................14 Figure 2-5 Diabetic Retinopathy View of Scene (Source: www.wikipedia.org) ....................15 Figure 2-6 Shaping Setting and Site (National Assembly Building, Dhaka, Bangladesh) (Source: www.wikipedia.org)..................................................................................................18 Figure 2-7 Building Form (The Neuroscience Building, La Jolla, California) (Source: www.wikipedia.org) ................................................................................................................19 Figure 2-8 Legible circulation systems (Guggenheim Museum, New York City) (Source: www.guggeinheim.org) ...........................................................................................................19 Figure 2-9 Integrated environmental graphics (Severance Hospital, Seoul, South Korea) (Source: www.dictionary.cambridge.org)................................................................................20 Figure 2-10 visually impaired required passage widths using mobility aids (Source: www.wikipedia.org) ................................................................................................................22 Figure 2-11 Smooth to rough (Source: www.wikipedia.org) ..................................................25 Figure 2-12 Thermal Baths, Peter Zumthor, 1996 (Source: www.archdaily.com)..................26 Figure 2-13 Thermal Baths, Peter Zumthor, 1996 (Source: www.archdaily.com)..................27 Figure 2-14 Tactile Map used to explain a conceptual design to the blind (Source: www.wikipedia.org) ................................................................................................................27 Figure 2-15 W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind, G Bruce Stratton Architects (Source: www.pbs.net.ca).......................................................................................................................29 Figure 2-16 Chapel of St Ignatius, Steven Holl 1994 (Source: www.seattleu.edu) ................30 Figure 2-17 Chapel of St Ignatius, Steven Holl 1994 (Source: www.stevenholl.com)...........30 Figure 2-18 Using audio senses to echo detect and perceive objects by the visually impaired (Source: www.wikipedia.org)..................................................................................................32 Figure 2-19 Exterior of Main Block (Source: Author)............................................................34 Figure 2-20 View showing main field, walkway and classroom blocks (Source: Author).....35 Figure 2-21 View showing mini-garden and rear end of praying room (Source: Author)......35 Figure 2-22 Pool area of the school (Source: Author).............................................................36 Figure 2-23 Picture showing use of guard rails on inner part of corridors (Source: Author)..36 Figure 2-24 Picture showing use of guard rails on outdoor walkways (Source: Author)........36 Figure 2-25 Exterior of building at day (Source: www.davispartnership.com) ......................38 Figure 2-26 Exterior of the building at night (Source: www.davispartnership.com)..............38 Figure 2-27 Kaleidoscope and motor room (Source: www.davispartnership.com) ................39 Figure 2-28 Interior spaces (Source: www.davispartnership.com) .........................................39 Figure 2-29 Exterior view of building (Source: www.archdaily.com)....................................41 Figure 2-30 Exterior view of building (Source: www.archdaily.com)....................................41 Figure 2-31 Sketch of different textures (tactile clues) employed on building’s surfaces (Source: www.archdaily.com) .................................................................................................42 Figure 2-32 Use of variant texture (tactile clues) on building’s surfaces (Source: www.archdaily.com)................................................................................................................42 Figure 2-33 Water channel running through the plaza as a sound guide (Source: www.archdaily.com)................................................................................................................43
  11. 11. xi Figure 2-34 Variety of fragrant plants and flowers in the perimeter gardens as constant sensors (Source: www.archdaily.com) ....................................................................................43 Figure 2-35 Exterior view of building (Source: www.archdaily.com)....................................45 Figure 2-36 Exterior view of building (Source: www.archdaily.com)....................................45 Figure 2-37 Perforated metal sheets used to reduce strong light transmission or glare (Source: www.archdaily.com)................................................................................................................46 Figure 2-38 Perforated metal sheets used to reduce strong light transmission or glare (Source: www.archdaily.com)................................................................................................................46 Figure 2-39 Sitting on the edge of Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park, Hazelwood School wraps around old trees and follows the contours of the topography (Source: www.architizer.com) 48 Figure 2-40 A cork-wrapped “sensory wall” helps students find their way through Hazelwood’s main corridor (Source: www.architizer.com)....................................................49 Figure 2-41 Volumes as well as slim walls project from the sinuous building in order to effectively partition the outdoor space for different functions (Source: www.architizer.com) ..................................................................................................................................................49 Figure 3-1 Image showing table of student and accommodation demographics (Source: Author).....................................................................................................................................53 Figure 3-2 Image showing table of student and accommodation demographics (Source: Author).....................................................................................................................................54 Figure 4-1 Site location up north of image marked in red in context of map of University of Lagos (Source: Author)............................................................................................................55 Figure 4-2 Image showing choice of corridor-room system used (Source: Author)...............62 Figure 4-3 Image of room configuration sketches (Source: Author).......................................63 Figure 4-4 Image of prototype evolution sketches (Source: Author) ......................................63 Figure 4-5 Image showing audio-tactile design approaches employed (Source: Author).......64 Figure 4-6 Image showing audio-tactile design approaches employed (Source: Author).......64 Figure 4-7 Bubble diagram (Source: Author)..........................................................................65 Figure 4-8 Bubble diagram with more spaces (Source: Author) .............................................65 Figure 4-9 Chart showing design considerations (Source: Author).........................................66 Figure 4-10 Chart showing different light sources (Source: Author)......................................66 Figure 4-11 Image showing shadow casting (Source: www.scientificamerican.com)............67 Figure 4-12 Illustration of excess glare (Source: www.lrc.rpi.edu) ........................................67 Figure 4-13 Images showing colour spectrum (Source: www.slideshare.net) ........................67 Figure 4-14 Image showing preferred texture choices (Source: www.slideshare.net)............68 Figure 4-15 Image showing detectable textured surface (Source: www.slideshare.net).........68 Figure 4-16 Image showing the use of tactile signage (Source: www.slideshare.net) ............69 Figure 4-17 Image showing different sound reverberations in a room (Source: www.slideshare.net).................................................................................................................69 Figure 4-18 Image of a little girl smelling a bouquet of flowers (Source: www.slideshare.net) ..................................................................................................................................................70 Figure 4-19 Images showing sensory gardens (Source: www.dengarden.com)......................70 Figure 4-20 Image of a clear walkway path (Source: www.wikipedia.org)............................71 Figure 4-21 Image showing overall site plan (Source: Author) ..............................................72 Figure 4-22 Image showing site block plan (Source: Author).................................................72 Figure 4-23 Image showing Block-A prototype floor plans (Source: Author)........................73 Figure 4-24 Image showing Block-A prototype floor plan & roof plan (Source: Author)......73
  12. 12. xii Figure 4-25 Image showing Block-B prototype floor plans (Source: Author)........................74 Figure 4-26 Image showing Block-B prototype floor plan & roof plan (Source: Author)......74 Figure 4-27 Image showing Block-C prototype typical floor plan (Source: Author)..............75 Figure 4-28 Image showing Block-C prototype roof plan (Source: Author)...........................75 Figure 4-29 Image showing Block-E communal block floor plans & roof plan (Source: Author).....................................................................................................................................76 Figure 4-30 Image showing Block-A prototype sections (Source: Author)............................76 Figure 4-31 Image showing Block-B prototype sections (Source: Author) ............................77 Figure 4-32 Image showing Block-C prototype sections (Source: Author) ............................77 Figure 4-33 Image showing Block-E communal block sections (Source: Author).................78 Figure 4-34 Image showing Block-A prototype elevations (Source: Author).........................78 Figure 4-35 Image showing Block-B prototype elevations (Source: Author).........................79 Figure 4-36 Image showing Block-C prototype elevations (Source: Author).........................79 Figure 4-37 Image showing Block-E communal block elevations (Source: Author)..............80 Figure 4-38 Image showing interior 3D (Source: Author) ......................................................80 Figure 4-39 Image showing interior 3D (Source: Author) ......................................................81 Figure 4-40 Image showing exterior 3Ds (Source: Author)....................................................81 Figure 4-41 Image showing exterior 3Ds (Source: Author)....................................................82 Figure 4-42 Image showing exterior 3Ds (Source: Author)....................................................82 Figure 4-43 Image showing room prototypes (Source: Author)..............................................83
  13. 13. 1 1 CHAPTER ONE – INTRODUCTION 1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY A loss or lack of vision does not deny an individual of all aesthetic pleasures since vision is only one of the senses through which any of us perceive the world around us” (The American Foundation For the Blind, 1972). Visually impaired people are people that suffer from a severe reduction in vision that cannot be corrected with conventional means such as refractive correction or medication and reduces a person’s ability to function at certain or all tasks depending on the severity of this said impairment. Architecture as an art is fundamentally about crafting experiences of humans but it should be noted that this experience is not just a visual one but most definitely a multi-sensory experience. It is common practice to investigate, appreciate and experience architecture primarily from a visual perspective. An experience which is typically described with reference to our eyes; we describe how it looks, rather than how it feels, it smells or it sounds. Chris Downey, an American architect himself who lost his sight in 2008, says: “Great architecture for the blind and visually impaired is just like any other great architecture, only better: it looks and works the same while offering a richer and better involvement of all senses”. Architects tend to be more vision oriented while creating spaces and judge beautiful architecture based on only their visual perspective. This brings about the question, just like Chris Downey frequently asks. “What can be termed as good architecture if sight is taken out of the equation?” A physical environment provides the opportunity to stimulate all senses, a manipulation of space can provide different experiences. The way a room is experienced can be altered by adapting how it looks, how sound is heard, and what it feels like. Why miss out on tactile,
  14. 14. 2 olfactory and acoustic experiences by not giving equal consideration to them and make vision the architectural priority? A subjective phrase, “Beauty is in the ‘eye’ of the beholder” is common through different ages and cultures, varying from society to society and from person to person. In design, the common preconception is that aesthetics is a highly visual experience and can only be acknowledged by the human eyes. The search to an answer on whether beauty only exists in visual perception or if it is perceived in the conceiver's mind is currently being researched into. 'Neuro-aesthetics', which is that scientific research endeavours to understand if there is a beauty that is universal and if we can be taught what is and what is not beautiful. This design thesis explores some part of the aforementioned scientific research and the possibilities presented. To achieve a non-visual pleasure from architecture, an aesthetically diverse architectural language and experience in the mind of the reader(s) needs to be employed. There is need for a fully multi-sensorial design that would actively involve and combine all non-visual senses; the aural, olfactory, light, taste and tactile approaches to architecture. The proposal is to create a hostel facility for the visually impaired students in the University of Lagos. 1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT This is a period in time where the global culture validates and gives predominance to the visual dimension over all other aspects of our capacious sensory experience. Imagery is so strong everywhere one goes, and semblances of things and experiences presented as pictorial representations in art and media. We allow these images to flatten our world and distance us from it. Rather than going outside to check the temperature we turn to our twenty-four hour weather channel where images explaining to us how it feels outside our door are presented to us in vivid high-definition colour.
  15. 15. 3 There is a problem of tendency of this ocular-centrism to subvert and eliminate the contribution of our other senses. This isolates our perception to the sphere of vision. In this way the visual distances us from the world in which we dwell because it impoverishes the other senses and alienates us from our sensuous physical world. We begin to experience our surroundings in a way that may as well be flattened onto the pages of a magazine or a television screen. Architecture is no different. It often follows in the manner of the figurative arts of painting and sculpture which is uni-sensory. This tendency toward design that is purely visual alienates the body from the realization of architectural meaning. A building engages its audience as an active participant immersed in the experience but buildings are designed to only translate well onto the printed page forgetting that architecture is multi-sensory and that every individual, whether deficient in some senses or not deserve to use, enjoy and appreciate good architecture. With evidence that there are quite a number of visually impaired individuals as students it is no-brainer that these people need to be catered for extensively. Architecture in Nigeria and worldwide would therefore now need to take a turn for the humanitarian, the government, prominent non-profit organisations and professionals in the built environment are now very interested in universal design which considers everybody including the physically challenged and visually impaired. Obviously considering these special people brings about new design challenges mainly being way-finding, utility and other architectural core values.
  16. 16. 4 1.3 AIM & OBJECTIVES The aim of this study is to explore audio-tactile design approaches in the design of a hostel facility for visually impaired students. This study has the following objectives: 1. To identify existing barriers and challenges of the visually impaired students in their existing resident hostels. 2. To examine alternate increased sensory architectural approaches that will aid living for the visually impaired students. 3. To analyse the multi-sensory (audio-tactile in focus) approaches as key architectural way-finding elements for visually impaired students in residences. 4. To help integrate these approaches found suitable into future design trends and considerations as regards to designing for the visually impaired. 1.4 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF WORK The thesis is established mainly in this progression: understanding what the visually impaired need, general perception aesthetic-wise, multi sensorial implementation and the final design. The first two chapters are mostly theoretical establishing precedents and facts, whilst the last two are design explorations and solutions based on the previous chapters, implementing garnered observation. The study would reference already existing built structures as the Pacelli School for The Blind and Partially Sighted in Lagos, Centre for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Mexico, Associated Blind Housing in New York, USA, amongst others.
  17. 17. 5 As regards limitations encountered in the course of conducting this research, – the greatest being a lack of credible information. This was due to disregard of responsible parties for collection of information when required. Also, delays due to bureaucratic formalities slowed the progress of the research. In some cases, letters were lost and weren’t recoverable for considerable periods. 1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY This research would serve as a wealth of information to both students of architecture and architects in practice in understanding challenges the visually impaired face daily as regards way-finding in buildings. It will also lay down design considerations and trends on how to overcome these challenges with a multi-sensory approach to achieve great and empathetic architecture. This research would not just only be a guide, but bring the Nigerian architecture system at par with our international counterparts in terms of universal considerations and would make us stand-out. 1.6 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS Blindness is the lack or loss of ability to see. Legally, blindness is defined as having a maximal visual acuity of the better eye, after correction by refractive lenses, of one-tenth normal vision or less (20/200 or less on the Snellen test). Snellen test is a test of visual acuity using a Snellen chart and a Snellen chart is an eye chart that can be used to measure visual acuity. Visual Impairment also known as vision impairment or vision loss, is a decreased ability to see to a degree that causes problems not fixable by usual means, such as glasses.
  18. 18. 6 Sensory is the term relating to a nerve fibre or impulse originating outside and passing toward the central nervous system. It is anything concerned in sensation. Multi-Sensory is the term of relating to or involving several physiological senses. Auditory is the term of or relating to the process of hearing. Tactile is the term of or relating to or proceeding from the sense of touch. Olfactory is the term of or relating to olfaction, which is the faculty that enables us to distinguish scents. Way-finding encompasses all of the ways in which people (and animals) orient themselves in physical space and navigate from place to place. Kinaesthetic learning, or tactile learning is a learning style in which learning takes place by the students carrying out physical activities, rather than listening to a lecture or watching demonstrations. Circulation (in architecture), refers to the way people move through and interact with a building. Locomotion is movement or the ability to move from one place to another. Guide is someone employed to show the way and conduct others, offering movement instructions. Sight is an instance of visual perception. Sound is the particular auditory effect produced by a given cause. Touch is perception via the tactile sense. Smell is the sensation that results when olfactory receptors in the nose are stimulated by particular chemicals in gaseous form.
  19. 19. 7 2 CHAPTER TWO – LITERATURE REVIEW AND CASE STUDIES Architecture in its totality is a very good test of a society’s true strength, for the most valuable things in a human state are the binding things—marriage, for instance. Architecture approaches nearer than any other art to being binding, because it is so difficult to get rid of. You can turn a picture with its face to the wall; it would be a problematic to turn the Casa Mila with its face to the wall. You can tear a poem to pieces; it is only in moments of very sincere emotion that you tear a town-hall to pieces. (G. K. Chesterton, 1909) Sight had been regarded as the noblest of the senses in historic western culture. According to Plato, vision is humanity's greatest gift and he insisted that ethical universals must be accessible to the mind's eye. 'The eyes are more exact witnesses than the ears', wrote Heraclitus in one of his fragments. Aristotle also considered sight as the most noble of the senses 'because it approximates the intellect most closely by virtue of the relative immateriality of its knowing'. Blind people are obliged to trust everyone because there really is no other choice. Architecture should aim at solving this problem. Imagine the fears and misconceptions that come along with the idea of moving through space without sight, seemingly oblivious to the environment and people around you. Maybe blindfold yourself for half a day or a whole day and try to do your normal activities? Only then might you be able to grasp the importance of architecture with the other senses involved. Chris Downey, an American architect himself who lost his sight in 2008, said while addressing the audience in a Teed show “As architects, we are visual animals” he said and I quote ”I begin to wonder: if sight is taken out of the equation, what then passes for good Architecture?”.
  20. 20. 8 2.1 HISTORICAL REVIEW AND STATISTICS According to WHO facts sheet page as current as October 2017; • An estimated 253 million people live with vision impairment: 36 million are blind and 217 million have moderate to severe vision impairment. Globally, chronic eye diseases are the main cause of vision loss. Uncorrected refractive errors and then un-operated cataract are the top two causes of vision impairment. Un-operated cataract remains the leading cause of blindness in low- and middle-income countries. • 81% of all people who are blind or have moderate to severe vision impairment are aged 50 years and above. With an increasing population of older people, more people will be at risk of vision impairment due to chronic eye diseases. An estimated 19 million children are vision impaired. Of these, 12 million children have a vision impairment due to refractive error. Around 1.4 million have irreversible blindness, requiring access to vision rehabilitation services to optimize functioning and reduce disability. The number of people visually impaired in the World Health Organization (WHO) African region is estimated to be 26 million, of whom almost 6 million are blind. This is based on estimates from population-based studies in Botswana, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania (Pascolini & Mariotti 2012). In Nigeria here, the problem is also a cause for concern. About 700, 000 people are suffering from cataract. About 1% of people become blind due to preventable circumstances and about 40 million people are at the risk of contracting onchocerciasis (river blindness) (WHO report, 2000). Despite Africa having one of the highest prevalences of blindness, it is the most underserved continent in terms of human resources available to treat and manage eye disease (Resnikoff et
  21. 21. 9 al. 2012), with the greatest gap between existing need and provision (Bastawrous & Hennig 2012). The statistics are simply appalling but yet the figures continue to rise up year after year with the economic cost of visual disability is great - estimated at more than $55 billion per year. Many infants and young children are at high risk for vision problems because of heredity, prenatal and parental circumstances (example, the cases of gonorrhoea). 2.2 GLOBAL BLINDNESS ERADICATION REVIEW Globally, the W.H.O’s programme for the prevention of blindness has focused on the practical planning and setting up of country programmes. They have prepared guidelines for use in the field assessment of blindness and its main causes, personnel training at various levels and the integration of eye care into primary health care. A databank that will collect and disseminate information on the prevalence and pattern of blindness has been created and a network of 13 WHO collaborating centres for the prevention of blindness has been established for applied research, technical advice and services and in some cases, the training of personnel. The programme also collaborates with several non- Governmental organisations working in the field of blindness prevention and providing valuable support to country programmes. 2.3 HISTORY OF EDUCATION OF THE NIGERIAN BLIND CHILD The Sudan Interior Mission started the actual formal education of the visually impaired persons in Nigeria in the 1940s. That was a century after their sighted counterparts had embraced Western Education. The main aim of the missionaries was to train persons with visual impairment to read the Bible and learn skills which would make them to be self-reliant.
  22. 22. 10 They established the first school for the blind in Gindiri and this was an eye opener, to the emergence of other special education institutions in Nigeria. Looking at Nigeria, visually impaired education has passed through different stages of educational development. It is of high importance to shed some light on the chronological progression of education of visually impaired persons from the earliest times till present in Nigeria. These stages are: • The Pre-Missionary stage • The Missionary Stage • The Post-Missionary stage 2.3.1 THE PRE-MISSIONARY STAGE This stage dates back to before the dawn of the missionaries in Nigeria. 1840 is actually when missionary impact on education in Nigeria started kicking in. Before this period, the blind were mistreated like most primitive societies in the world then. The western education was not concerned with Special Education in Nigeria until a century later. 2.3.2 THE MISSIONARY STAGE After the 2nd World-War there was an intense improvement, leading to consideration of the education for persons with visual impairment. The first school for the blind was established in Gindiri by Sudan United Mission in 1953. Also, in 1962, Pacelli School for the Blind was established by the Catholic Mission. From then, came the birth of many special schools for the blind in the country. Even though during this period, education system witnessed various educational ordinances but all were silent on Special Education. 2.3.3 THE POST-MISSIONARY STAGE Missionaries played a major role in the establishment of special schools and in the growth of Special Education in Nigeria. The Nigerian government didn’t get involved in the education of
  23. 23. 11 persons with disabilities until circa 1970. Zindi (1997) opines that complete involvement in the education of the disabled by government did not take place until the 1970s when the then Head of States, Major General Yakubu Gowon declared government’s interest in the education of the disabled. He directed that all the state Ministries of Education must establish Units for Special Education so as to strengthen the existing schools. Today, elements of Special Education are being taught in our Colleges of Education, and some universities’ Faculty of Education. A lot of improvements are being made in Special Education especially in the education of persons with visual impairment. 2.4 BLINDNESS Blindness has various degrees and stages: a person is not either totally blind or has excellent vision. Eye defects can occur due to ageing, genetics, medical complications and accidents including; age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. Generally, those classified as ‘legally blind’ are not in fact completely in the dark. They are able to perceive shapes, specific colours and light differences. For those who become blind later in life, (acquired blindness), memory also plays a large part in the perception of new environments by relating aspects to previous experiences. A blind person would need to draw on all of their remaining senses to understand a space, combining this information and using their senses in cooperation, rather than isolation, to be certain of their surrounding environment. This spatial perception is not possible without the combination of all of the senses, unlike the primary reliance on the visual by the sighted. It will obviously take more time for blind people to get accustomed to environments, exploring the building, listening to the spaces and the way their body influences the space. They touch
  24. 24. 12 and physically engage with the building, becoming more aware of their surroundings. Like the sighted, the blind walk through time not through space, but their awareness and engagement with space is likely to be much richer than the experience of a sighted person since it involves more senses than sight. 2.4.1 UNDERSTANDING THE CLIENT, A BLIND PERSPECTIVE The general requirement for architecture for the blind is usually functional and very simple, aesthetically understated. The notion of aesthetic perception for the blind is an underutilized concept; do not the blind also deserve and require architecture that satisfies their physical, emotional and aesthetic need? Since the 1970s, most visually impaired persons have been integrated into mainstream schools; this was an initiative to eliminate the sense of segregation giving the children a chance to feel ‘normal’. As a result, the distribution of specialized teaching and recourses were inadequate and it became a challenge to teach children to read and write in Braille. Braille is a language on its own, a simple and basic but very fundamental foundation (like the alphabets) on which higher levels of education and literacy is built. Although learning with other non-blind persons gives the visually a sense of inclusiveness and belonging, the need for specialized and responsive housing facilities for them cannot be understated. Architecture should really be concerned with making life enjoyable and wholesome for the visually impaired. 2.4.2 SEEING WHAT THE BLIND SEES Stating that blind people have little or no sensitivity at all is a widespread misconception. It seems people in general, and not just architects, have a sort of non-empathy and egocentrism whereby they have not even tried to put themselves in others’(especially people with impairments) shoes talk less of seeing though their eyes.
  25. 25. 13 In the world of the visually impaired, each person’s impairment severity defers and a high percentage has some degree of vision though considered legally blind. Light intensities, colours, shapes and silhouettes are commonly recognized depending on the type of impairment as seen in the illustrations below. Figure 2-1 Normal vision view of scene (Source: www.wikipedia.org) Figure 2-2 Cataracts vision view of scene (Source: www.wikipedia.org)
  26. 26. 14 Figure 2-3 Macular Degeneration view of scene (Source: www.wikipedia.org) Figure 2-4 Tunnel vision of scene (Source: www.wikipedia.org)
  27. 27. 15 Figure 2-5 Diabetic Retinopathy View of Scene (Source: www.wikipedia.org) 2.4.3 NOT ALL VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS ARE THE SAME It is easy to assume similarities in sighted and non-sighted students’ needs and learning styles that they can also be treated as a homogeneous group. But this is not true and this one-size-fits- all approach is quite inappropriate. The students are quite different in degree of impairment to personality, they vary from almost blind to possessing a useable amount of residual vision, and from the quiet, thoughtful and studious to the extrovert, outspoken and determined. Another feature of these students is the effort of concentration they need to make to follow a class of any kind; they need to work much harder than sighted students to achieve the same ends. Tiredness noticeably affects what they can do. 2.5 ARCHITECTURAL WAY-FINDING 2.5.1 WAY-FINDING CHALLENGE AND ITS IMPORTANCE TO DESIGN Way-finding is usually given low priority by designers, seeing it as a hindrance to good design or a problem that can be easily solved with signage (Carpman and Grant, 2002). Given the
  28. 28. 16 impact way-finding has on human psychology, occupant satisfaction, health, long-term performance, and the financial bottom line, inattentiveness to way-finding reduces the buildings’ inclusiveness for everyone. Understanding a few basic principles of architectural way-finding design can help designers to enhance building performance and to provide more inclusive solutions. Good architectural way-finding design is important to universal design because it facilitates user access, increases satisfaction, and reduces stigma and isolation of users with disabilities. It reduces the confusion of visitors and mistakes by employees, saving time and money and preventing accidents. It also reduces stress, boosting health, and productivity (Evans and McCoy, 1998). “The ability to find one’s way into, through, and out of a building is clearly a prerequisite for the satisfaction of higher goals,” according to designer Jerry Weisman in 1981. Weisman argued that “’legibility of an environment’ – the extent to which it facilitates the process of way-finding” has significant behavioural consequences, citing its effects on the happiness of elderly residents in group housing settings as an example (Weisman, 1981). Legible surroundings promote “emotional satisfaction, the framework for communication and conceptual organization, [and bring] new depths to, everyday experience” (Lynch 1960: 2-4). Legibility of the built environment is served by the following components (Arthur and Passini, 1992): • Shaping site and setting • Building form and architectural features • Articulating interior spaces • External and internal circulation systems • Level change devices • Internal transportation
  29. 29. 17 • Information way-finding design Architectural way-finding focuses on way-finding in built forms and urban settings because way-finding strategies in natural outdoor settings are different (Golledge, 1999). In outdoor built environments, properties of spatial layout are more important than program in determining patterns of movement, while inside buildings, movement “can be understood primarily in terms of specific purposefulness rather than spatial regularity” (Peponis and Wineman, 2002). “One of the most common assumptions about space,” say Hillier and Hanson, “is that human spatial organization is the working out of common behavioural principles through a hierarchy of different levels,” that “similar social or psychological forces shape space, differing only in involving larger numbers of people and larger physical aggregates” (Hillier and Hanson, 1988). It is not. Different types of buildings will have specific way-finding issues. Special design challenges are confronted in transportation terminals, hospitals and medical facilities, museums and other cultural facilities, and recreational parks. Spatial planning, articulation of built elements, and circulation system design are commonly the responsibility of architects, site designers, the engineering team, interior designers, and building owners and administrators. The design team should always include experts in more complex settings, way-finding design. Informed spatial planning defines buildings that work and the success or failure of future building users (Evans and McCoy, 1998). Most architects and designers unfortunately, are not trained in way-finding design. Design teams are often not properly informed of sign-related regulations, government codes and requirements, don’t understand how way-finding ease can promote facility use and customer satisfaction, underestimate the need for way-finding expertise and internal way-finding leadership, and overlook the detailed, long-term vision that way-finding requires (Carpman and Grant, 2002).
  30. 30. 18 Exterior way-finding obstacles are common, including poor identification of building entrances and lack of clear access from parking facilities or mass transportation. Common interior way- finding obstacles include the failure to make spaces within a facility look unique, connecting corridors at acute or obtuse angles, and failure to provide sufficient lighting at intersections, entrances to major destinations, and landmarks (Carpman and Grant, 2002). Many other features including ambiguous circulation patterns, repetitive architectural features, contradictory articulation of interior and exterior spaces, and numerous entrances undistinguished from one another lead to poor way-finding performance, (Arthur and Passini, 1992). Environments that support successful way-finding behaviour can also be spatially interesting, sophisticated, and complex. In fact, “the challenge of way-finding design is to create interesting settings that allow for gratifying spatial experiences and that are safe, accessible, and way- finding-efficient, despite any complexity they may have,” (Arthur and Passini, 1992) Figure 2-6 Shaping Setting and Site (National Assembly Building, Dhaka, Bangladesh) (Source: www.wikipedia.org)
  31. 31. 19 Figure 2-7 Building Form (The Neuroscience Building, La Jolla, California) (Source: www.wikipedia.org) Figure 2-8 Legible circulation systems (Guggenheim Museum, New York City) (Source: www.guggeinheim.org)
  32. 32. 20 Figure 2-9 Integrated environmental graphics (Severance Hospital, Seoul, South Korea) (Source: www.dictionary.cambridge.org) 2.5.2 DESIGN GUIDELINES Although it is seemingly very important, regulated standards on way-finding and way-finding design do not exactly exist. However, U.S. Life Safety Codes and accessibility standards affect the design of certain way-finding elements. Standards related to information way-finding can also be found in these sources. Local building codes and zoning ordinances may include additional standards for such elements as pathways, circulation systems, exits and entrances not covered in national standard books. Some include the following: • Way-finding is as much an architectural issue as a graphic issue. Architects and designers need to take responsibility for inclusive approaches to way-finding and learn more about the psychological and health-related impacts of building design • Whether addressed through architecture or information, the design of way-finding systems should include: (1) identifying and marking spaces; (2) grouping spaces; (3) linking and organizing spaces; and (4) communicating this information to the user.
  33. 33. 21 • Way-finding design guidelines and best practices vary by building type, size, and layout; urban, suburban or rural location; frequency of use; and user requirements, preferences, and characteristics. • Provide as many way-finding cues in the environment or in the architecture as possible, rather than through signage. Landmarks that help visitor orientation and direction giving can be fundamental for this purpose (Vander Klipp, 2006). • Designers shouldn’t forget that small models of designed environments may produce unanticipated perceptual effects when built at full scale. Factors in the environment, such as smog, are not represented, and neither are the non-visual effects of the full-scale building. (Downs and Stea, 1973). • Designers must remember that spatial learning and thinking are not the same as visual learning and thinking. In addition to spatial perception, cognitive mapping involves use of other sensory inputs, integration of inputs over time, movement, input from other knowledge and value systems, and frameworks for spatial learning gained early in life (Downs and Stea, 1973). Extensive innovations in architectural way-finding design and the results of scientific research by architectural and behavioural experts over the past 20 years have not been aggregated in a single, up-to-date publication. Such a publication could not only educate designers, but elevate the status of way-finding and other aspects of behavioural impact of the built environment as a design topic. 2.5.3 NAVIGATION TECHNIQUES The blind often use tactile or/and aural landmarks to locate and familiarize designated areas by themselves. Other conventional tools or help other than their natural senses are:
  34. 34. 22 • The use of a cane; which acts as an extended limb and guides or provides warning upon obstacles, crowd‘s footpaths and steps in geography. • The next useful tool is the guide dog, a friend or a kind stranger; the guide dog is trained to be obedient and intelligent in leading the owner through safe passage and similar can be said of the human help. • Braille; this is the universal reading and writing method for the visually impaired, it comprises embossed or raised dots on a piece of paper typed by a Braille machine. Figure 2-10 visually impaired required passage widths using mobility aids (Source: www.wikipedia.org) 2.6 SENSES AND MULTI – SENSORY ARCHITECTURE 2.6.1 BEAUTY, SCIENTIFICALLY, HISTORICALLY AND PHILOSOPHICALLY The concepts of architecture are similar with that of fire; fire protects us from cold and serves as a place of gathering. Vitruvius said: “…it was the discovery of fire that originally gave rise to the coming together of men, to the deliberate assembly, and to social intercourse.” Fire bears aesthetic qualities but it is not purely visual, it excites all the senses. We take pleasure in its warmth, the smoke tickling our noses, and the crackling and popping sounds as the wood slowly burns down. Try as we might, this experience cannot be reproduced on a television
  35. 35. 23 screen and have the same effect. If we can take so much sensuous pleasure sitting in front of a fire, why not with architecture? Visual and intellectual conception of ideas are the means by which we choose to appreciate representations of architecture, whereas lived architectural experience is grasped through a more complete multi-sensorial perception of the built environment. That is “…architectural comprehension or apprehension by direct stimulation of the senses, in contrast to abstract and rational perception. It is architecture to look at, touch, listen to and explore, appealing more to the body than the mind.” Beyond the clearly understood senses of touch, smell, and hearing are a number of complementary sensory perceptions that the body uses to perceive spaces. Frampton lists “…the intensity of light, darkness, heat and cold; the feeling of humidity…the almost palpable presence of masonry as the body senses its own confinement; the momentum of an induced gait and the relative inertia of the body as it traverses the floor…” We register all of these as part of our wholesome encounter with places. Many of them are hard to catalogue or are considered intuitive and subconscious; however, this makes them no less important. A sensuous awareness of architecture is an inclusive, intimate mode of understanding buildings as concrete things. 2.6.2 SIGHT Architecture is often regarded as a visual phenomenon. We largely generate, present, communicate and explore architecture through visuals. The sense of sight has truly dominated the culture of architecture - if not also life in general. The adage ‘A picture says a thousand words’ sums up the expectation that everything is immediately presented to us. A single image can present and explain the most complex of ideas.
  36. 36. 24 But information garnered to understand the nature of the space by sight makes the experience gained incompletes. Sensitive moves by architects now need to be made to reintroduce the non- visual senses, reversing the current emphasis of an ocular-centric culture and attention to the neglected senses so that occupants might be led into a more rewarding experience. 2.6.3 SOUND The way a building sounds is the combination of the form and volume of the rooms, the material surfaces and their application. A building usually focuses on the absorption of sounds, reducing and isolating them, although spaces crafted for acoustics have the potential to act as an instrument, enhancing a multi-sensory experience and assisting the blind in their exploration and understanding of space. The contrast of the volume and the stillness of sounds may enrich the experience of these spaces, defining a particular character for each one. Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum in Berlin, Germany, is a rich example of how an individual can manipulate the sounds a building produces. One of the floors in the memory void is covered by a sculpture of thousands of open mouthed faces coarsely cut from steel and loosely secured. When the space is entered, a step onto a face plates makes the faces clatter and chime underfoot as reverberations fill the height of the volume. The sounds cannot be escaped until intense experience has been left. In a more practical precedent, the Polytrauma and Blind Rehabilitation Centre, currently under design, is due to open in Palo Alto, America. The facility features different textured flooring to allow the unsighted to register where they are by the different sounds each surface produces under foot or cane. 2.6.4 TOUCH It is unlikely that a single texture is uniformly applied to a building, but purposeful textural variation is also not thoroughly explored. A variety of materials demonstrates not only a
  37. 37. 25 textural difference but also a temperature difference, producing variety in experience - stone is never cold like steel, or never bland like paint. Tactile definition can be executed in one, or the combination of a few. The variation and complexity of the textural resources can act to define and create space, but regardless, the sense of touch is probably the most important for the blind. Figure 2-11 Smooth to rough (Source: www.wikipedia.org) Materiality has been exploited in both the W. Ross Macdonald School for the Blind and the Hazelwood School for the Multiple Sensory Impaired. The architects acknowledged the importance of tactile change for the blind, “creating a strategically touch - sensitive environment.” Pallets of materials were selected for their sensory qualities, and then juxtaposed to indicate key junctions assisting in the navigation and orientation to help students find their way through the school. Carlo Scarpa and Alvar Aalto, also architects, not only designed to appeal to the eye but their work “reaches” out, asking to be touched and explored. Their compositions explore the nature of each selected material, turning standard building elements into art pieces, composing multiple materials to engage and entrance the occupants. Our thermal environment is felt through our skin with tactile changes, coming to meet our bodies, rather than us reaching out to engage with them. Although temperature is heavily regulated by air conditioning in many homes, cars and offices, people enjoy diversity in temperatures. Breeze from an open window or door can provide a clue as to wind direction and external conditions, especially for those that cannot see out. Likewise, a heat source, such as a thermal mass wall, can be used to help locate a particular place.
  38. 38. 26 Spatial volume variation or contrast is an experience that can also be felt and sensed by an occupant through a sense of enclosure or openness. This spatial device can be experienced by simply transitioning between two different volumes of space. The change in volume can define a boundary from one space to another, occurring suddenly in broad contrast or as a gradual transition, breaking up a monotonous volume of space. Peter Zumthor’s Thermal Baths in Vals uses the spatial device of volume to articulate and define different areas of bathing. Internally and externally there is an evocative sequence of spaces, giving the freedom to explore. Private intimate spaces are enclosed in a small volume, larger volumes just shelter overhead, while others are defined at the perimeter but are completely open to the elements. Within the internal structure of the rooms, Zumthor works under a consistent ceiling height, articulating the ground plane, and moving people on vertical transitions through space. The resulting volumetric difference also has implications on the acoustic temperature and acoustic qualities of the spaces. Figure 2-12 Thermal Baths, Peter Zumthor, 1996 (Source: www.archdaily.com)
  39. 39. 27 Figure 2-13 Thermal Baths, Peter Zumthor, 1996 (Source: www.archdaily.com) Tactile maps are a means of communicating spatially with the blind. As seen in figure below, the map is tactilely defined for the unsighted user. The walls are raised from the plan and textured surfaces can determine different spaces, both internally and externally. Braille can also be used to label different spaces. The blind will only use one fingertip when reading a tactile map, which is a very different experience from reading everyday objects which are read with two hands so that they can perceive its context and parameters. Figure 2-14 Tactile Map used to explain a conceptual design to the blind (Source: www.wikipedia.org)
  40. 40. 28 2.6.5 SMELL Charles Moore designed a house for a blind client in which he positioned high windows for ventilation. Specific planting was located on the four different sides of the house which enabled the occupant to determine from which direction the wind was blowing by the scents that filled the room. The way a material is finished can also affect smells which could identify for the blind what a particular material is. This relates particularly to timber as it has a recognisable natural aroma. This can either be enhanced or subdued depending on the chosen finish; wax, varnish or polish. Variety in the application of these finishes could result in an engaging experience for the visually impaired as they decipher the various scents. 2.6.6 COLOUR AND LIGHT Many people classified as blind can in fact register the contrast of different colours. The perception of light and colour also relates to the sense of touch as both light and colour radiate temperatures that can be felt on the surface of the skin. This is demonstrated in the W. Ross Macdonald School for the Blind, Ontario, Canada. Large blocks of contrasting colour are used to guide students through the hallways. The bright colours are noticed by those with limited sight, and can be used to assist the formation of a mental map of their environment. It also enlivens the school environment, uplifting what would be a monotonous environment for the partially sighted. Many students at the school are also sensitive to the sun’s glare. Windows have been sandblasted and protected with screens to limit direct light. Stanley Tigerman designed the Illinois Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Similarly to the W. Ross Macdonald School, bold colours have been used to
  41. 41. 29 delineate architectural elements. Red has been used for the exterior walls, the structural system is indicated in yellow and ducting in a bright blue. Steven Holl designed the Chapel of St Ignatius, Washington, a small chapel constructed from various irregular volumes. The chapel fuses a gathering of different lights, focusing tunnels onto specific places within the chapel. Inhabitants journey through the different passages of light, enticed by the way the varying light dances on the textured plaster of the interior walls. There is a bar in Cologne, Germany, called the Unsight Bar, where the matter of light and colour is removed altogether. Guests are invited to dine in complete darkness becoming “more receptive to differences in scent, taste, texture, consistency and temperature.” Figure 2-15 W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind, G Bruce Stratton Architects (Source: www.pbs.net.ca)
  42. 42. 30 Figure 2-16 Chapel of St Ignatius, Steven Holl 1994 (Source: www.seattleu.edu) Figure 2-17 Chapel of St Ignatius, Steven Holl 1994 (Source: www.stevenholl.com)
  43. 43. 31 2.7 DESIGN INITIATIVES FROM A BLIND ANGLE The current design innovations for the visually impaired are escalating at an inspiring rate as blind architect Chris Downey mentioned in one of his articles. Materials such as brick and concrete with subtle textural derivations are usually the most form of public access information available to the visually impaired. The colours, sounds, patterns and textures of emitted by different materials all play a cumulative role in their understanding of and navigation through their environment. Pedestrian crossings can be fitted with rotating tactile bars underneath the console that alerts the blind when it is safe to cross. Buildings should be designed in a way to allow the visually impaired to be independent from guided assistances. The ability of a visually impaired person to independently move through a space is based on what information they gather from all of their senses and directly relates to the age the visually impaired person lost their vision. The visually impaired rely most on their auditory and tactile senses, but can also use their olfactory, heat perception, and kinaesthetic senses when the correct information is present. Depending on the severity of the visual disability, vision can either hinder their way finding abilities or enhance their ability to independently move through a space. 2.7.1 RESIDUAL VISION Ultimately the reliance on residual vision is based on the individual. There are specific factors that will increase their ability to use vision. One of the most important factors is controlling the amount and type of illumination in the space. The designer can help by avoiding glare, sharp light contrasts, and use adjustable lighting to accommodate multiple visual impairments. Another factor is the use of colour, volume, size and complexity along with the location of the objects in the setting to create landmarks within an environment. Bright colours are easier to identify by most visually impaired rather than dark, neutral colours.
  44. 44. 32 2.7.2 AUDITORY SENSE It is essential for a visually impaired child to learn and distinguish multiple sounds in an individual setting, but background noises are a consent battle for auditory perception. Through the use of localization the visually impaired can approximate the distance sound travels from its original source back to the person to help locate them within a complex environment. Binaural hearing, the ability to hear from both ears, is essential to create a balanced perception of one’s space. Imbalance hearing would cause disorientation, because sound couldn't be easily identified in the space. A third way a visually impaired orients themselves is through echo detection, which enables them to identify their relationship to an object. For example, the sound waves heard from a wall are very different than the sound waves heard from an open door. Figure 2-18 Using audio senses to echo detect and perceive objects by the visually impaired (Source: www.wikipedia.org) 2.7.3 TACTILE SENSE A person born blind or became blind at a young age perceives their environment differently than one who lost their vision later in life. For example, a person who has seen a table knows the visual connections of the object and therefore can easily form a visual image in their mind. A person who has never seen a table will use their tactile senses to examine the table and begin
  45. 45. 33 to understand its connections. Using the tactile senses is a slower process than the visual, because the person must establish the shape of the outline, the texture within the shape, and any distinguishable features before being able to know the object. 2.7.4 OLFACTORY SENSE A strong smell enables a visually impaired person to orient themselves within the space. Although the sense of smell is difficult to design for in every space it can be used effectively in certain spaces such as the food in the cafeteria, the natural vegetation of exterior areas, or materials used in the art room. These common odours complimented with other senses help identify the space the person is experiencing. 2.7.5 KINAESTHETIC SENSE The kinaesthetic sense, or “muscle sense”, is the ability to remember familiar surroundings, feel the body changing direction, or feel the muscles and joints moving which enables the visually impaired to understand their surroundings. Research has found that visually impaired people can learn their environments quickly and effectively and only need one to two additional experiences more than the sighted to acquire sufficient information for independent travel. In a 1988 research study performed by Passini and Proulx compares how totally blind and sighted people learned a 250 meter route along an interior space. The results found that a third of the totally blind group made four times as many errors and hesitations as did the sighted group when walking the route on their own the first time. The study also found that a third of blind group retraced the route without error and a third could draw a completely accurate map of the route. A later study in 1998, carried out in Belfast, Ireland by researchers Golledge, Garling, Jacobson, Kitchin, and Blades, had even more convincing results when testing the totally blind, sighted and low visual. This study found there
  46. 46. 34 were no differences in accuracy between the groups by the third trial of the study when they were asked to verbalize, point, or model the route. 2.8 CASE STUDIES 2.8.1 LOCAL CASE STUDIES 2.8.1.1 PACELLI SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND AND PARTIALLY SIGHTED Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted Children is located at 30, Ajao Street, Surulere, Lagos. It is administered by the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus under the Proprietorship of Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos. Figure 2-19 Exterior of Main Block (Source: Author) The current population of the Pacelli School for the Blind stands at one hundred and thirty- eight students, and a total of thirty-eight staff both teaching and non-teaching. The U-shaped design offers simplistic access and navigation throughout the building with paving stone and concrete being the prevalent flooring. Like other facilities that cater for the blind and partially sighted, there is a garden in the school complex. Plants and flowers of various scents are planted here. The need for solar glare to be reduced or diffused is a necessity. Hence, stained windows are employed for this purpose.
  47. 47. 35 They help reduce the light intensity and give the classrooms some kind of cool and habitable ambience. As stained windows are employed to reduce intensity of light, screen walls are also used here to serve the same purpose. Guard railings are located along corridors/walkways and they help the visually impaired students find their way around. At the staircase landing, both the stained windows and screen wall were used to help reduce light intensity. Figure 2-20 View showing main field, walkway and classroom blocks (Source: Author) Figure 2-21 View showing mini-garden and rear end of praying room (Source: Author)
  48. 48. 36 Figure 2-22 Pool area of the school (Source: Author) Figure 2-24 Picture showing use of guard rails on outdoor walkways (Source: Author) Figure 2-23 Picture showing use of guard rails on inner part of corridors (Source: Author)
  49. 49. 37 2.8.2 FOREIGN CASE STUDIES 2.8.2.1 ANCHOR CENTRE FOR THE BLIND Anchor Centre for Blind Children is designed by Davis partnership architects, located in Denver, Colorado. The entire building performs as an educational tool embracing a multi- sensorial experience for the blind children who occupy it. This highly acclaimed building recently won the mayors design award for innovation in 2011 and has been featured in many architecture publications. The linear design offers simplistic access and navigation throughout the building. Conversation with Alice Applebaum executive director at the school reveals that; ―Small cues like the concrete being scored more closely as children enter the building, are more helpful than over doing textures, sounds and smells. One thing that has been very helpful was having acoustics be ―directional vs. ―echoing – which we did by having one wall in each classroom angle in about 6 degree, this provides noise reduction and manipulates directional sound cues. Multiple instances of coloured glass are incorporated distinguish certain areas whilst providing navigational landmarks, different colours of glass are used at each section of building enforcing the colour pod system.
  50. 50. 38 Figure 2-25 Exterior of building at day (Source: www.davispartnership.com) Figure 2-26 Exterior of the building at night (Source: www.davispartnership.com)
  51. 51. 39 Figure 2-27 Kaleidoscope and motor room (Source: www.davispartnership.com) Figure 2-28 Interior spaces (Source: www.davispartnership.com)
  52. 52. 40 2.8.2.2 THE CENTRE FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED, MEXICO Institute of Blind, Mexico is designed by Mauricio Rocha, located in Mexico City, Mexico. The Centre for the Blind and Visually Impaired was created as part of a program by the Mexico City government to provide services to one of the most disadvantaged and highly-populated areas of the city; Iztapalapa is the district with the largest visually impaired population in the Mexican capital. The 14,000 sqm complex is on corner plot bordered by two avenues. A blind wall encircles the complex on its four sides and acts as an acoustic barrier as well as a retaining wall/blank to hold the earth moved from neighbouring wasteland areas. In contrast to the abstract exterior, the internal facade of the boundary wall creates banks that change shape, height, and orientation, thus creating various courtyards. The layout can be read as a series of filters which stretch out from the entrance in parallel strips. The first filter is the building that houses the administrative offices, cafeteria, and utility area. The second consists of two parallel lines of buildings organized symmetrically along a central plaza. These buildings contain a store, a sound and touch gallery and five arts and crafts workshops. The third filter has the classrooms facing the gardens and the most private courtyards. The Centre aims to enhance spatial perception, cultivating the five senses as experience and source of information. A water channel runs through the centre of the plaza, so that the sound of the water guides users along their way. Horizontal and vertical lines in the concrete at hand height offer tactile clues to identify each building. ―directional vs. ―echoing – which we did by having one wall in each classroom angle in about 6 degree, this provides noise reduction and manipulates directional sound cues.
  53. 53. 41 Multiple instances of coloured glass are incorporated distinguish certain areas whilst providing navigational landmarks, different colours of glass are used at each section of building enforcing the colour pod system. Figure 2-29 Exterior view of building (Source: www.archdaily.com) Figure 2-30 Exterior view of building (Source: www.archdaily.com)
  54. 54. 42 Figure 2-31 Sketch of different textures (tactile clues) employed on building’s surfaces (Source: www.archdaily.com) Figure 2-32 Use of variant texture (tactile clues) on building’s surfaces (Source: www.archdaily.com)
  55. 55. 43 Figure 2-33 Water channel running through the plaza as a sound guide (Source: www.archdaily.com) Figure 2-34 Variety of fragrant plants and flowers in the perimeter gardens as constant sensors (Source: www.archdaily.com)
  56. 56. 44 2.8.2.3 INSTITUTE FOR THE BLIND, BUDAPEST Institute of Blind, Budapest is designed by A4 Studio architects, located in Budapest, Hungary. The institute was founded in 1898, Budapest. Most of the children who are living here have multiple disadvantages. There are blinds, disabled, mentally retarded, and most of them are orphans. The state supports them until the age of 18. After this age they have no place to go to. The A4 Studio designed the home of the below 18 children. The new building is connected to the existing one, with a bridge. In the first two floors of the 5 storey building are the common spaces, activity rooms and the dining room. In the 3 upper floors are the bedrooms. Their aim was a simple, safe and user friendly building, which serves the life of the children. Most of the corridors get natural light, which helps the orientation of the blinds. The strong light transmission is reduced by the perforated metal sheets. These sheets are placed in front of the large glass surfaces. The perforation is formed from braille subtitles, with the following words: trust, home, shelter and love. Size and location of the windows are different in every bedroom, which can also help the orientation for the kids. The circulation plan is been kept in a linear format so as to create less hindrances and provide visual access. The linear organisation increases the chance of repetition of spaces which in turn helps in fast learning of users. The architects maximizes the inlet of Natural lighting by punching as many windows as possible in façade. Further these windows were covered by perforated sheets so as direct light (which will be a problem to low vision people)
  57. 57. 45 Figure 2-35 Exterior view of building (Source: www.archdaily.com) Figure 2-36 Exterior view of building (Source: www.archdaily.com)
  58. 58. 46 Figure 2-37 Perforated metal sheets used to reduce strong light transmission or glare (Source: www.archdaily.com) Figure 2-38 Perforated metal sheets used to reduce strong light transmission or glare (Source: www.archdaily.com)
  59. 59. 47 2.8.2.4 HAZELWOOD SCHOOL Hazelwood’s plan resembles a sea horse with its long axis running roughly east–west. Ten classrooms occupy half as many volumes protruding gently from the sinuous north elevation, while additional functions, such as the music room and library, dot the opposite side of the building; the two sets of spaces face an internal street. The design responds to several constituencies at once. Hazelwood is located on the site of a dairy near Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park. Since hat building’s demolition in 1926, “the community had considered the site to be part of the park itself,” Dunlop explains. The school’s plan is in part a response to neighbours’ concerns about the construction of the building. The curvilinear form follows the contours of the site and accommodates three massive beech trees. Richard East, director of local landscape consultant City Design Co-operative, says only two trees were removed. A low-slung zinc roof melds with the topography, while its Siberian larch cladding will weather to a soft grey similar to slate shingles applied to other walls. Soon Hazelwood should appear more like a landscape feature than architecture. “Bringing the trees into the design helps form external classroom spaces,” Dunlop also notes. Indeed, garden spaces where teachers can calm children one-on-one are appended to each classroom. The weaving of landscape into the architectural design soothes teachers, too. “It’s an incredibly intense job these guys do,” says Dunlop. “The building is designed as much to relieve that kind of pressure as to support the children.” Louver protected glazing and clerestory windows surround the internal street, showering it with daylight. Clerestories dominate the classrooms, since expansive full-height windows could distract those students who have partial sight. “We wanted to make students aware of the change of the seasons, the falling of rain, different smells,” Dunlop says. GM+AD never
  60. 60. 48 wavered from its intention of building with timber, which the architect calls “warm and good to touch—it creates a non-institutional feeling.” Institutional is exactly what Hazelwood isn’t. There are few handrails; instead blind students follow a “sensory wall”—a folded cork plane lining one side of the internal street—to guide themselves between rooms. “We were asked to not make everything too safe,” Dunlop says. Outside, students feel the sun-warmed slate or larch slats for wayfinding cues, and East’s landscape design is punctuated by unprotected steps. Figure 2-39 Sitting on the edge of Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park, Hazelwood School wraps around old trees and follows the contours of the topography (Source: www.architizer.com)
  61. 61. 49 Figure 2-40 A cork-wrapped “sensory wall” helps students find their way through Hazelwood’s main corridor (Source: www.architizer.com) Figure 2-41 Volumes as well as slim walls project from the sinuous building in order to effectively partition the outdoor space for different functions (Source: www.architizer.com)
  62. 62. 50 3 CHAPTER THREE – RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 3.1 METHODOLOGY Qualitative research is research undertaken to gain insights concerning attitudes, beliefs, motivations and behaviours of individuals to explore a social or human problem and include methods such as focus groups, in-depth interviews, observation research and case studies. Qualitative methodology of research is what was employed for this project. The research involved a small number of participants because in-depth interviews are time and labour intensive. This limitation was then catered for by the use literature review. The information gathered was from both primary and secondary sources. Primary method here being the author’s physical visit to the site to see the existing conditions of things by himself and interviews with the visually impaired students and their guides. The secondary method of data were in the form of materials from the library and the internet including case studies and then demographic data from the University administration. 3.2 DATA COLLECTION 3.2.1 TYPES OF DATA COLLECTED 3.2.1.1 PRIMARY DATA This is all first-hand information and data collected by the researcher through site investigation and field survey of the study area as well as information gotten from interviewing visually impaired students and their guides (where applicable) at the proposed study area and wherever else relevant.
  63. 63. 51 Interviews: A couple of informal and semi-structured interviews were carried out. They were done with a couple of the visually impaired students and their guides. The questions asked were aimed to get information about: • Current comfort levels in their rooms as regards furniture choice and placement and sizing of the spaces in general. • Current way-finding challenges being encountered in their resident hostels and any other locomotion-related discomforts they are experiencing. • Their preferred choice of circulation and layouts for their resident buildings. • Preference between having personal or communal conveniences. • Opinions on current lighting levels in rooms and preferred conditions as regards that. • Opinions on provision of sporting, recreational and communal facilities. • Multi-sensory design approaches they have utilised in other specialised buildings they might have visited that can be incorporated in this design. • Any other additions to the design that will be helpful in making these their residences feel like a home away from home. These interviews were conducted to learn their current challenges as regards way-finding and utility of their resident buildings, know their comfort levels and to gain any helpful information concerning their preferred choices relating to design and any other additions in their opinion that will make these hostels more liveable for them. 3.2.1.2 SECONDARY DATA Secondary data includes all data and information that have been generated and interpreted by a particular writer or researcher and is then updated for relevance on this current topic. Elements of this secondary data will include material from the library, journals, similar thesis and write-ups, internet, textbooks, government reports and articles.
  64. 64. 52 Internet: Both foreign and local relevant sources of information which could not be reached physically were explored electronically and also acknowledged. Foreign cases of similar existing facilities were comprehensively studied with this same approach. Demographic Data: Demographic data was gathered with help from the Office of Student Affairs, Centre for Information Technology and also the National Association of Nigerian Visually Impaired Students, UNILAG Chapter. Requests were made for information on admission numbers and patterns for visually impaired students and information on hostel application and occupation over a period of years. Case Studies: Case studies are common practice in architectural research. Knowledge of series of cases helps in acting within the professional practice. These cases are based either on personal experiences or are model cases established within the profession. A designer’s work is usually a result of blending together known cases and the actual design situation. Various information and data were sourced from the Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted and international case studies whose data were extracted via the internet not forgetting personal observations made during not necessarily during these case study visits. Literature review of past works, journals, projects and magazines by notable bodies and individuals on the issues of the education of and accommodating visually impaired people in general were also vehemently studied. 3.3 DATA ANALYSIS The final findings influenced the project assemblage and design. All the data collected were analysed and weighted for the selection of the most relevant; and where and when needed was noted. Much of the data collected were more of statements of fact than numerical. Numerical data were the university demographics.
  65. 65. 53 3.3.1 DEMOGRAPHICS The University of Lagos presently has thirty-seven thousand, seven hundred and eighty-four (37,784) students – with twenty-seven thousand, one hundred and sixty-six (27,166) of them being undergraduates and ten thousand, six hundred and eighteen (10,618) being postgraduate students. Of this thirty-seven thousand, seven hundred and eighty-four (37,784) students, thirty-five (35) of them are visually impaired – with thirty-two (32) of them being undergraduates and three (3) being postgraduate students. Attempts were also made to identify the pattern in which visually impaired students have been admitted into the university and how many have been accommodated within the last three sessions. This information is required to determine the scope and size of the proposed project. Information gathered is presented in the table below. Figure 3-1 Image showing table of student and accommodation demographics (Source: Author)
  66. 66. 54 3.3.2 INTERVIEWS The purpose of these interviews was to determine the current users’ level of satisfaction with existing facilities and how they imagine these facilities can be made more homely and liveable for them. Current patterns of use as regards circulation and wayfinding were also determined. From the interview questions asked and respective responses: it was established that visually impaired students are currently dissatisfied with the levels of comfort in their current residences. This is not a surprise as no special design elements or approaches were put in place to cater for their visual challenges. The university tried to compensate with the option of them having at least one roommate or guide to help them see to their day-to-day activities. They offered their opinions on what exactly the issues were and how they felt these resident hostels can be made better, comfortable and more liveable for them. Figure 3-2 Image showing table of student and accommodation demographics (Source: Author)
  67. 67. 55 4 CHAPTER FOUR – DESIGN 4.1 STUDY AREA The University of Lagos, also known as UNILAG, is a Federal Government research university in Lagos state. It was established in 1962 to provide qualitative, research-oriented education to Nigerians and all those who have entered its domain in search of knowledge. The University of Lagos is located in Yaba Local Government Area, Lagos state. Its coordinates are 6˚31’0”N 3 ˚ 23’10”E. It is bounded to the North by Bariga and to the South, Iwaya. The Lagos Lagoon and Somolu bound it to the East and West respectively. Figure 4-1 Site location up north of image marked in red in context of map of University of Lagos (Source: Author)
  68. 68. 56 4.1.1 SITE LOCATION The site is located along the northern boundary of the campus and is currently accessible through Moronfolu Street. Further access will be created upon the construction of a proposed road from the sports centre roundabout to the site. The site is approximately 17,000sqm in size. 4.1.2 CLIMATIC CHARACTERISTICS, SOIL AND VEGETATION Climate Lagos has a tropical wet and dry climate (Aw) that borders on a tropical monsoon climate (Am). Lagos experiences two rainy seasons, with the heaviest rains falling from April to July and a weaker rainy season in October and November. There is a brief relatively dry spell in August and September and a longer dry season from December to March. The prevalent winds blowing over the site are the South-West Trade wind and the North-East Trade wind. Wind speed and direction are both affected by level of development and skyline. Soil & Vegetation The site exists over waterlogged land due to its proximity to the Lagos Lagoon, with water levels rising and falling in response to the lagoon. There currently exists a dense vegetative cover of both trees and shrubbery. 4.1.3 POPULATION University of Lagos is one of the fastest growing university in Nigeria with a population of over 45,000 students offering both full and part time courses with a college of medicine, twelve (12) faculties and a distance learning institute. With a staff strength of over four thousand (4000) made up of both academic and non-academic staff. Also, the importance of good infrastructure is a major contributor to the success of any economy, organization or institution. The University of Lagos has been in existence for well
  69. 69. 57 over 30 years and has thrived in the education sector and the presence of good infrastructure has played an immense role in achieving this goal. Apart from academic facilities, there also exists a large sports centre, parks and other social/ recreational spaces across the campus. 4.2 SITE SELECTION AND ANALYSIS 4.2.1 CRITERIA FOR SITE SELECTION The site for this proposed project has been checked for the following criteria before being deemed appropriate: • Availability of land/ adequate space. • Accessibility to both vehicles and pedestrians • Proximity to the end users. • Statutory acceptance of proposed development in the location. 4.2.2 SITE ANALYSIS The site is located along the northern boundary of the campus and is currently accessible through Moronfolu Street. Further access will be created upon the construction of a proposed road from the sports centre to the site. The site is approximately 15,000sqm in size. Local Climate The climate falls within the climate of the south-western part of the country and are basically the raining seasons from May to September, and the hot dry season from October to April.
  70. 70. 58 Prevailing Winds Two dominant prevailing winds dominate the region based on the seasons. In the dry season between October and April, harmattan wind (North-East trade wind) blows from the Sahara and brings a dry and dusty atmosphere while in the rainy season, the South-West trade monsoon wind blows bringing warmth, humid air after the long dry season. These winds are desirable for site ventilation when properly utilized at the conceptual stage of the design such that proper orientation of the building will be enhanced. Also, wind breakers like foliage and trees can be utilized. Rainfall Despite the variations being purportedly caused by the deterioration of the ozone layer, the entire Lagos metropolis is characterized with heavy rainfall, which adds to the deterioration of the ground. There are two rainy seasons April to July and September to October. The only months less than 100mm rainfall are November/December and January/February, March. There is usually a short dry season in august known as august break which has more or less disappeared or comes for short spell of time that is negligible. Vegetation The university of Lagos site is sited on an extensive marshland of vast mangrove and fresh water swamps surrounding a smaller and much dissected table-land on which building operations started. Humidity In the university area the relative humidity is generally very high exceeding 95%. This is closely related to the rainfall pattern and thus goes to emphasize the need for cross ventilation in most spaces.
  71. 71. 59 Sunshine Lagos state being a coastal city experiences low clouds with sunshine of up to eight or nine hours and a minimum of five hours during July to September. (The coolest period of the year). Adequate shading is therefore required. Topography Most of the site falls below sea level and as such is generally swampy. The levels of water found on site varies in response to water levels in the Lagos lagoon. It has a marshy sub surface condition. Site Drainage Due to the site’s low elevation from the Lagos Lagoon, site drainage is poor and as such has a tendency to get flooded. Soil and Geology The site is currently located on loose soil due to the swampy nature of its terrain and its proximity to water features around the site. The site is below the road level, considerations are to be given to drainage of water in and out of the site. 4.2.3 S.W.O.T. (STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES & THREATS) ASSESSMENT Strengths • Adequately large site. • Proximity to end users. Weaknesses • Swampy nature of site implies large sums spent on foundations.
  72. 72. 60 Opportunities • Virgin land may be designed to overcome the site’s natural challenges. • The proposed development may take advantage of some of the site’s existing vegetation. Threats • There may be security challenges to the project upon completion due to its proximity to the boundaries of the campus. 4.3 DESIGN BRIEF 4.3.1 DESIGN/CLIENT’S BRIEF The proposed design is a Specialized Hostel for Blind and Visually Impaired Students in the University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria. The University of Lagos is said to presently have the largest population of visually impaired students and provides accommodation for a number of these students. However, the university is adamant on combating any deficiencies in the provision of accommodation for these special needs students. The goal here is not only to provide sufficient accommodation for these blind and visually impaired students, but to also make the residences as habitable, hospitable and as easily liveable as possible using various audio-tactile design approaches. These approaches will be incorporated all around the design to aid the visually impaired students living in this facility.
  73. 73. 61 4.3.2 PROJECT REQUIREMENTS AND SPATIAL REQUIREMENTS • Access control and security • Administration & Porter Accommodation • Health and First-Aid facilities • Male Hostels (Different Prototypes) • Female Hostels (Different Prototypes) • Common Rooms • Dining Facilities • Grocery Shopping Facilities • Service spaces (Laundry, Kitchens) • Conveniences/ Hygiene spaces • Outdoor Relaxation Spaces • Common / Shared Amenities • Recreation / Sports Areas • Support services • Equipment/Material Storage • Security/Access Points • Waste Management
  74. 74. 62 4.4 CONCEPTUAL DESIGN 4.4.1 DESIGN CONCEPT The major concepts of design for this project were the notions of Simplicity and hitch-free Way-Finding. This project being a specialised hostel for visually impaired students was bothered on solving bigger challenges as against just basic outlook of the building and aesthetics. Figure 4-2 Image showing choice of corridor-room system used (Source: Author)
  75. 75. 63 Figure 4-3 Image of room configuration sketches (Source: Author) Figure 4-4 Image of prototype evolution sketches (Source: Author)
  76. 76. 64 The design was tasked with making locomotion as simple as possible. Here, all circulation paths both indoor and outdoor were made as obstacle-free and as simple as possible. The audio-tactile design approaches earlier discussed were also utilised all around the building to make way-finding as easy as possible for the visually impaired students. Figure 4-5 Image showing audio-tactile design approaches employed (Source: Author) Figure 4-6 Image showing audio-tactile design approaches employed (Source: Author)
  77. 77. 65 4.4.2 BUBBLE DIAGRAM AND SPATIAL RELATIONSHIP DIAGRAMS Figure 4-7 Bubble diagram (Source: Author) Figure 4-8 Bubble diagram with more spaces (Source: Author)
  78. 78. 66 4.4.3 DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS In relation to the design considerations visually impaired people are divided into 2 categories: Low vision people: when they use buildings, rely quite entirely on their ability to see. Blind people: when they use buildings rely entirely on other senses, i.e. touch, hearing, smell and touch. Figure 4-9 Chart showing design considerations (Source: Author) Lighting Adequate lighting is the single most important aid to vision. The lighting needs of persons who are visually impaired vary according to the individual and their particular eye condition. Figure 4-10 Chart showing different light sources (Source: Author)

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