Unwilling to accept a life utterly dependent on caretakers, [Steve] Saling designed a series of systems that let patients with ALS control their environment in the assisted living center with ...blinks and facial twitches.
“The notable impact that ALS had on my ability to design is speed,” he said. “I am a lot slower. [But] Because much of my profession had been computerized and I excelled in computer-assisted drafting, I was still able to convey my ideas with a lot of precision.” — STAT
Most planners and architects can speak volumes about accessibility requirements [...].
Tamara Petrovic and Garner Oh, partners of the architecture and design firm 0 to 1, are intimately aware of such needs. To address their son’s difficulty with balance and motor skills, the pair developed a range of products for the home that transform his living environment into a safe and appealing space for all members of the family and resist the institutional aesthetic often seen in special needs products. — urbanomnibus.net
Enter Cities Unlocked, a project intended to help people with sight loss navigate cities. The brainchild of a blind Microsoft employee, it uses GPS, a 3D audio headset, and Bluetooth beacons, among other technologies. [...]
“I’m a blind person, I need to keep my ears open,” she says. The headset uses bone-conducting technology, in which vibrations create a “3D soundscape” around the user. — nextcity.org
Downey needed something tactile to work with, and he found it in a kids' toy. Spread out before him on the table are stacks of embossed plans ... marked up with brightly colored wax sticks. [...]
The sticks warm to the touch and bend easily; they can make precise angles, and—crucially for Downey—their tackiness makes them stick to paper. "Once I realized that, I thought, 'Oh, I could use that to draw on top of an embossed drawing.'" Suddenly, he had a way not just to read, but to make. — sf.curbed.com
Due to plummeting enrollment and a troubled district, vacant school buildings—heck, just vacant buildings—are none too rare in Detroit. After 19 years of abandonment, the Nellie Leland School, however, is no longer vacant—it, as abandoned urban buildings are want to do, is back in session as condos. [...]
Today, the school is known as Leland Lofts, a set of expansive condos in the Lafayette Park neighborhood near downtown Detroit, where a 1,465-square-foot, one-bedroom loft goes for $175K. — curbed.com
Blind architect Chris Downey says that city planners and property owners should view future construction projects through a different set of eyes. [...]
Downey, 51, of Piedmont, Calif., lost his eyesight six years ago after undergoing surgery for a non-cancerous brain tumor. Since then, he has maintained his San Francisco architectural practice.
"I have a career without sight. But as an architect, I still have vision," he said with a grin. "The creative process is a mental process." — latimes.com
In 2009, a pair of academics, Kim Steele and Sherry Ahrentzen, collaborated on “Advancing Full Spectrum Housing,” a comprehensive design guideline for housing adults with autism. (An expanded book on the topic is scheduled to come out next year.)
Perhaps the first development to closely follow their template is Sweetwater Spectrum, a residence for 16 adults whose abilities and disabilities span the full range of autism. — nytimes.com
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