WORK IN PROGRESS
Museums – Accessibility for blind people
Mimeticaslab – Medialab Prado
I am proud to be part of this wonderful project, were we try to make, amongst other things, museums more accessible for blind people!
I will update this website again from time to time, in the meanwhile please visit the updated documentations here:
Text from the projects homepage:
“How can we make artistic heritage more accessible for people with visual disabilities? MiméticasLab is a working group that aims to explore the possibilities of creative prototyping, 3D printing and other digital manufacturing techniques to create tactile and / or multisensory reproductions of existing works of art, so that what we are only allowed to observe can be understood through other senses.
The concept of mimesis (imitation) comes from ancient Greece. For the philosophers of the time, art should be a faithful imitation of nature. This project reappropriates the concept and gives it a twist: the artist’s workshop becomes a laboratory for collective experimentation in which technology and art come together to imitate art itself .
The idea of the working group arose at the request of one of its members, a geography and history degree student who is encountering difficulties added by the widespread lack of tactile resources for people with total blindness. In the teaching of subjects related to art and history, most of the resources used are of a visual nature: photographs, plans, drawings and maps. One of the objectives of this project is to replace them with diagrams and tactile models, with free licenses and low manufacturing costs (3D printing), which can be used as accessible didactic material, thus supporting different forms of learning. Although there are 3D models available online, mainly sculpture, many are of insufficient quality, the databases are not accessible and there are hardly any architectural or pictorial resources. The initial objective of the group is to locate existing open models and create new models, test them and make them available to individuals and institutions.”
PROPOSED WORK METHODOLOGY
- Localization of existing 3D models of free license.
- Mapping of museums or cultural institutions that are digitizing their collections in 3D models.
- Print different types of models, to determine the optimal parameters of scale, print resolution and level of detail that are necessary for the printed pieces are easily understandable through touch.
- Creation of new models from scratch, using free software design tools and the technique of photogrammetry (3D scanning of objects through photographs).
- Preparation of a repository or database of models already tested in an accessible and easy-to-navigate web format for people with partial or total visual disability, including precise descriptions of the pieces and printing tips. Add to each model a verbal description that helps the tactile exploration of the piece.
- Documentation of all phases of the project through an open platform, so that the procedures and methodology can be replicated or adapted to other educational needs.
- Dissemination of the progress of the project through social networks.
- Try to create a collaborative network between different cities of the world, to be able to work in parallel with other groups that may be investigating similar topics or that are interested in starting to do so.”