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DOMOTEX INSPIRED 20


SENSES We often tend to judge floor surfaces in terms of how they look


and feel. But for those with visual impairments, it’s more about how tactile they can be and how they can improve standard of life


Words | World Show Media staff Photography | Stefano Calgaro


With all the attention now on adjusting our homes to cope with the demands Covid-19 has placed on families, it’s easy to forget there are other reasons for architects and room designers to apply their skills. Stairlifts, handrails and sound systems are routinely installed to assist those who have diffi culties in moving around, but the challenge takes on an entirely diff erent perspective when it comes to helping those who are partially sighted, but otherwise mobile. Italian architects helped one such client faced with fi nding their way


around a new home after 55 years in a more familiar environment. They integrated a custom wayfi nding system into the structure and layout of the house in Thiene, Italy. This included a creative set of tiles with varied textures to guide the owner from room to room. The fi rst step for So & So Studio was to create a central corridor to avoid confusing maze eff ects that could occur with a more complicated


layout. All entrances and exits were located along this spine, as were all the principal rooms such as the kitchen and bedrooms.


QUO TE


BACK TO CONTENTS DOMOTEX MAGAZINE 2021


They worked with the client to map out her daily routines and the routes she took and were able to base their design around known activities. One noted feature was a glyphic alphabet encoded into the fl oors which comprised textured stones creating patterns designed to be recognised and followed. They had the added benefi t of not being obvious disability aids. A sighted guest may notice them and think of them as simple, design-led visual cues, reducing the possibility of needless confusion. Innovation is nothing new when it comes to dealing with visual impairment, something the transport system has been embracing alongside physical


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