Seeing without sight: Designing a transit hub that aids in independent navigational strategies for the vision impaired
This practicum outlines a conceptual design proposal for a mobility hub located in the existing Union Station terminal in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The investigation creates a framework for the importance of designing for multiple abilities in regard to users with a visual impairment and incorporates a study of theory and strategies that accommodate the independence and wellbeing of these individuals. The practicum uses four lenses of research and analysis to help design layers of sensorial information that act as tools for independent navigation and wayfinding for people with a visual impairment. These lenses include critical theories centered around narratology and perception, research on existing design conditions for people with a visual impairment, personal explorations, and an understanding of the building history of Union Station. The design will be an engaging, multi-sensorial experience of continuous networks and paths that act as a personal extension of the body to the built environment. The design will also offer options and choices that depend on the user’s needs.