Architects and designers are visual learners….
I think this is a huge understatement. I have found it to be true in my teaching and my practice. Working on a special needs school in Northern Ireland really opened my mind to this …. other sensorial aspects became more important.
This day project was one I took into the architectural studio. As visual people Architects and Designers rely on their sight to sketch their ideas, make their models, scope their sites and select their materials.
But what if sight was taken away? What would they do? Panic? (No..they smiled) Use what they could to find out what they need? (Yes)
They used touch to explore mass, form and texture.
I found this out in the studio by asking 5 students to draw several different objects ranging from earphones to a pineapple.
What could they could feel, smell, hear and taste (if they so desired).
What was the process and what would the outcome be?
Do repeat this day project you will need
A partner (to make sure no blind-folded person comes to any harm)
A blind fold
A blank piece of paper or cardboard,
A black sharpie or marker
A range of household objects (such as, masking tape, earphones, glasses, a remote control….anything really).
Each person should blindfold themselves and their partner should check that they can’t see anything. The partner should select and object and place it safely in the blind-folded person’s hand. After the blind-folded person has had enough time to explore their object (mass, form, texture etc). They should translate (still blind-folded) what they can feel, smell, taste (?) by drawing it (or elements of it) on the paper or cardboard for about 3 minutes.
Outcomes from the day project in studio.
Earphones, A key, Masking Tape
Photograph Negative, A Glove, A Pineapple
TV Remote Control, Scissors, A Washing Tablet
Feedback from the participants included….
‘It was really difficult to try to guess what some of the objects were.’
‘I think what I drew was pretty cool…maybe better than when I draw with my eyes open. It was more conceptual looking and would be translated in to a building design in terms of it’s form and mass’