Students in Professor Andrew Gipe-Lazarou’s second-year studio and Blind Design Workshop team were introduced to non-visual communication, functionality, and mobility in a training session led by the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired.

Students engaged in a Q&A session with members of the Blind and Vision Impaired community to better understand the challenges Blind and Vision Impaired individuals face and how, as Designers, they could better respond to their needs.

Additionally, the students participated in a hands-on activity where they used goggles that simulated different levels of vision impairment and navigated through Cowgill and Burchard halls using white canes and blind lead techniques.

The experience challenged the students of architecture and interior design to question the ocular-centrism of their professions and to consider the importance of accessible, multi-sensory space-making.