Beyond – Glasses for the Blind
We think that in humanity integration is not necessary for that sighted people have a relieved conscience but because we simply need each other – that’s why we live in society. However, to achieve that, it is not enough to build accessible infrastructures but we need to be emotionally inclusive with people no matter being blind or sighted. We started this project with the great help of the National Institute for the Blind in Hungary to torn down the walls between the Blind and the Sighted.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Beyond is a glasses collection for blind people. Social integration of the blind can’t focus solely on functional accessibility but on emotional inclusiveness as well. Many of the sighted still feel embarrassed or sorry when they see a blind person. But the Blind thank them, don’t need that sorry. Sorry only creates distance. These walls must be torn down. The Beyond glasses act as a symbol: Seeing beyond prejudice and sorry. Seeing beyond the dark glasses. Beyond all these you will meet someone.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
You can use and wear any Beyond glasses the same way like normal glasses or sunglasses – except that it is only for blind people so you absolutely cannot see through it.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
Started in April 2014, ended in January 2015.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Beyond glasses are made of copper and manufactured by cold forming processes. All glasses have a leather layer on the inner surface for delicate touch and fit to our face while wearing.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Main dimensions: 140mm x 170mm x 40mm.
blind, glasses, jewellery, integration, social, accessibility, inclusiveness
Research was executed with the help of the National Institute for the Blind in Hungary: Interviews, Surveys, Databases analysis.
The most difficult part of the research process was understanding the complexity of a blind person's situation and design communication in a sighted society.
It is a common attitude of blind people that they don’t want anyone to feel sorry for them, they don’t want to show vulnerability or sadness of being blind, because it is simply not true. Most of them feel great, live a fully rich life and they have fully accepted their blindness – and this is what they want to communicate. It is also a common consensus between blind people that wearing sunglasses is useful in protecting their eyes against dust and other unforeseeable impacts.
However, people communicate being ok in great many different ways. As the sighted has many different type of attitude, the blind has as well. Someone is more extroverted and someone isn’t. Appearance and fashion is very important to some part of the blind, and it isn’t to others. To some blind people it may be important only in special situations like going to the theatre and it may not when they just go shopping nearby.
We had to accept during the research that there is no universal way to express these positive feelings. In the same time for those to whom physical self expression is important and have an extravagant character in life or just want to wear something special on a special event, it does make sense to make for them more expressive glasses than general sunglasses: glasses that only can be used blindly and therefore are designed by such freedom of form and material constraints. Glasses that communicates freedom, extravagantness, and happiness.
TEAM MEMBERS (4) :
Alberto Vasquez, Dorottya Féja, Zsófia Mező and Eszter Mátyás
Photographer Bálint Schneider