As an architectural firm specializing in universal design, LS&A was delighted to see this feature on the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) website about an accessible design for the blind. However, rather than a building, the Bradley is a tactile wristwatch. It was named for the man who inspired it, Paralympic swimmer Bradley Snyder, a Navy veteran who lost his sight when an IED exploded during his tour in Afghanistan.
The idea for the watch was conceived by MIT grad, Hyungsoo Kim. Now it is being developed by Eone by key team members David Zacher, a RISD Industrial Design (ID) faculty member, and recent ID graduate Amanda Sim. When their project funds began to dwindle, they decided to run a Kickstarter campaign in the hopes of raising another $40K. Instead, they have raised an additional $485,000 and counting! This is another example of how designing for one population benefits us all. While the watch may be designed for the blind, it has a completely contemporary and relevant design, and we foresee both sighted and blind wanting in on the time keeping action.
It reminds us of another design for the blind that can be useful for the general population: The Raynes Rail. It’s designed for hospitals and public buildings. In addition to providing stability, braille is used on the underside to provide directions, warnings (like ramp, or incline), room numbers, etc and includes buttons that can be pushed for audio information.
Have an accessible design you’d like to manifest? Contact Leslie Saul & Associates Architecture and Interiors.