Crafting an immersive museum experience for visually impaired visitors
Museums are primarily visual spaces. While efforts are being made to create more inclusive spaces, there is a serious lacking in the experiences of visually impaired individuals. How can we challenge the preconceived notions of these spaces, while creating an inclusive experience?
Through exploring a number of museum across London, and speaking to musuem staff, visitors and members of RNIB, I established an understanding of the limitations of these spaces. Investigating the concept of the ‘touching tour’, I decided to make use of 3D scanning and printing, as it allowed any object in a museum to be interacted with without fear of damage.
Using an interactive, arduino-powered system & 3D printed fascimiles of museum artefacts, I created an immersive audio-sensory experience for visually impaired visitors. When the 3D printed object is lifted off the plinth, ambient audio begins to play that contextualises the object, replacing the visual aspect of museums with a tactile and sound-based experience. Considering the range of visual impairment, I added tactile LEDs that spell out ‘Touch’ in Braille, making use of lights to add an abstract visual experience as well.