Tactile maps? nah.. models..

As you are aware, esha was among the pioneers in promoting the widespread use of tactile maps in offices and schools to aid accessibility. our idea was to create 2d architctural blueprint like maps which will allow a visually challenged person to navigate and find their way around the building with ease.

however, what i saw last month completely changed my perspective about tactile maps. i saw the most amazing 3D model of the blind relief association, created purely out of recycled material.. the beauty of the piece was that even the windows were replicate down to the detail of the direction in which they open!!

this is the first time i have seen something so mindblowing.. and that set me thinking.. suppose, instead of using 2D maps, we were to use these 3D models – made of recycled material, imagine what it would do to the understanding of a VI visitor. Especially visitors who have had sight at some time in their lives – they will be able to visualise the layout, the textures and the distances so much better…

there are some things that we need to think about.. and we solicit your suggestions on these –

1. what about storage? to have an accurate level of detail, we might end up with large models that companies may be loath to store.
2. About the lifespan of the product – while the canvas based tactile maps have a long shelf life with minimal care – a simple cling film coat keeps them in good shape, a 3 D model will need better maintenance and we need to be sure that the shelf life is encouraging enough for companies to want to invest in this.
3. Applicability to all building types – this is a big worry for me. While most organisations have a 3D architectural model of their facility , the indoors are not usually covered..

please.. we need all the ideas we can get.. so.. what do u think?

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