An auditive and tactile model to improve wayfinding for visually impaired

Project info

The visually impaired are able to translate a scaled down model to reality by means of touch, although currently they aren’t used very often or are inaccessible to use for the visually impaired.

The project’s focus was to formulate guidelines on creating accessible models to improve wayfinding for visually impaired in a building. The collaration between Accessibility and Bartiméus allowed us to extensively research and test with the target group to discover their wishes and required information, as well as with modern digital production techniques, like 3D printing and lasercutting, and material’s efficiency and sustainability.

As a final result, we build a model of a primary school for blind and visually impaired children, in which we translated and proved our discovered guidelines.

Key points

  • Build-Test-Repeat iterations are very important for the visually impaired and blind target group, as they perceive the world totally different; you cannot imagine things yourself. For example, we initially imagined scale and walking guidelines would be important to offer in the model. Although this additional information appeared to be unnecessary and even distracting.
  • The focus should be especially on the tactile experience. Surfaces should allow your fingers to slide over smoothly and quickly, no sharp edges and element shouldn’t become smaller than the tip of your finger.
  • Robust materials, like wood and plastic, seemed to be more promising than fragile and soft elements.
  • 3D printing and lasercutting techniques were very effective in the process as it’s quick, precise, easy to adapt and provides using different materials.

  • Type

    Parttime job
    (20h per week)


    Apr-Aug 2018


    Ruben Brandsma
    - Timo Hoogland