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19 FEBRUARY 2010

DESIGNABILITIES

"The DESIGNABILITIES blog is part of the project 'Speechless' managed by Tom Bieling and supervised by Prof. Dr. Gesche Joost, at the Design Research Lab of Deutsche Telekom Laboratories.

DESIGNABILITIES is meant to be an exchange platform, not only for the project members or partners, but also for anybody who is interested in the topic likes to share knowledge in this research field.

We like to collect, document and discuss inspiring projects, products, concepts and theories within the range of design, technology, art, architecture, philosophy and pop culture. This includes also the discussion on the progress of our own research work....

It might be links to interesting projects, publications, products or services. It might be book reviews, announcements of interesting events (e.g. conferences, lectures, presentations, releases) or just questions, hypotheses or comments in general."

(Tom Bieling)

Fig.1 2007_Tact, http://www.behance.net/Gallery/Tact/158198

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TAGS

alternative communication • architectureaugmentative communicationblindblindnessBraille • communication and audibility • communication and movement • communication and time • communication in space • communication over distance • deafness • design • design for all • design for disabilitydesign intelligencedesign research • Design Research Lab • design responsibility • Deutsche Telekom Laboratories • disabilitydisability studies • Gesche Joost • HCIinclusive designindustrial designinterface design • invisual communication • pop-cultureproduct designresearchsocial design • Speechless project • sustainabilitytactile communicationtechnologytimepiece • Tom Bieling • universal designusabilityvisual communication

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
24 MARCH 2009

Newcastle has a talking sign system to help blind and partially sighted people find their way around the city centre

"Newcastle City Council is currently working in partnership with various organisations across the city to develop a scheme called RNIB React. RNIB React is a talking sign system that helps people who are blind and partially sighted find their way around town centres, safely and independently.

Speaker units have been set up on a chosen route around Newcastle City Centre. Users carry a small fob device, which triggers the unit to announce a message when within range.

17 units have been installed in the city centre. They are located on Northumberland Street, Blackett Street, Percy Street and St Thomas Street. There are further units located within metro stations and leading to the RVI Hospital."

TAGS

accessibilityaudible informationblinddisabilitydisabledNewcastle • Newcastle City Council • partially sighted • RNIB ReactUKwayfinding

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 SEPTEMBER 2008

Luminous: by experimental choreographer Saburo Teshigawara

Sadler's Wells, 11 – 12 October 2003

"Luminous is a choreographic masterpiece danced with virtuosity and refinement, litheness and lyricism. Saburo Teshigawara, who created it for his company Karas in 2001, is also lead dancer and, with his long–time collaborator Kei Miyaka, responsible for music, costume and scene design. His choreography is thrillingly liquid and – through both movement and stillness – boldly explores the sculptural qualities of the human body. Trained in classical ballet as well as the plastic arts, Teshigawaraís [sic] dancing seamlessly integrates the formal and amorphous, controlled and wild, slow and frenzied dimensions of his choreography.

In part 1, the dancers streak in and out of patches of light which at first seem to entrap them, but from which they eventually escape with spellbindingly mercurial gestures. Light is explored with glass mirrors, luminous constumes, light–box silhouettes and masterful use of spotlighting. And darkness – which in Teshigawaraís fertile choreographic imagination seems so much more than merely the absence of light – is embodied in the remarkable Stuart Jackson, a dancer blind from birth whose contact with the space around him feels almost physical. When he spreads his hands, or tries to touch the air with outstretched arms, or twists and turns in a space that he seems to have perfectly measured out, he brings alive a world – almost a world–view – experienced through touch and movement alone.

After the interval, the atmosphere changes completely. Strange figures, phosphorescently lit, some minus heads or hands or entire upper torsos, caper around elusively. At one point a cloak flies over the stage. A nun–like figure is suspended mid–air. Two walls enclose a glowing green figure, and open and shut like a huge book. And then all this eerie activity gives way to a meditative solo by Teshigawara, in white on a bare stage, who alternates floating movement with sudden sharp slicing curves and fast spilling turns. He is eventually joined by a black–clad Jackson. They circle around each other, in a dialogue that seems incomprehensible to the on–looker and yet vital in every sense of the word.

The only irritation in Luminous is the portentous and sometimes vapid poetry read by Evroy Deer, which gets in the way of the dancing and dilutes rather than adds to its ëmeaningí [sic]. Apart from that, however, nothing is sensationalist or kitschy. Above all nothing is arbitrary: everything feels essential in the indefinable way of great art."

(Simon May, 2003, Online Review London)

Fig.1 Dominik Mentzos, 'Saburo Teshigawara'.

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TAGS

20012003 • absence of light • aestheticsballetblind • blind performer • choreographic imaginationchoreographyclassical balletcostumedancedarknessdesign formalismDominik Mentzoseerie • everything feels essential • evocative performance • Evroy Deer • figures in spacefloating • floating movement • gestureglassglowinggraphic representation • green light • interdisciplinary • interdisciplinary project • Karas (dance company) • Kei Miyaka • lightlight-box • litheness • Londonluminousluminous costume • lyricism • masterpiecemirrormovement • nothing is arbitrary • nun • phosphorescence • plastic arts • portentous • poses plastiquesSaburo Teshigawara • Sadlers Wells • scene design • sculptural qualities of the human body • sharp slicing curves • silhouettespace • spilling turns • spotlight • stage • Stuart Jackson • suspended mid-air • theatretorso • vapid poetry • virtuosity • visual dramavisual literacy

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
23 MARCH 2006

Wayfinder: Birmingham's Talking Street Furniture

A new facility to help blind and visually impaired people navigate their way around the heart of Birmingham city centre [UK] will be launched in Spring [Northern hemisphere] 2006. The 60 Wayfinder units will be installed around the city centre, providing users with practical audible information, to confirm their location and assist them to reach their destination safely.

Most units are being installed on existing street furniture to minimise street clutter and, where no street furniture exists, being fixed into new purpose built stainless steel posts located at the back of footways. Users will carry a trigger card to activate the speaker unit when within range. Details on how and where to obtain the triggers will be available shortly.

Users of this system are able to hear recorded navigational information through the use of auditory signposts. Users scan the signposts with trigger cards that presumably access the system through some sort of wireless technology (Bluetooth etc.).

(Birmingham Focus on Blindness)

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TAGS

accessibilityaudible informationBirminghamblindblindnessnavigateRNIB Reactstreet furniture • trigger card • UKurban data • visually impaired • Wayfinder • wayfinding
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