I was doing some work yesterday with a
charity that champions disabled access to
buildings and websites. It was a truely
fascinating and somewhat humbling day.
One of the architectural techniques used
in modern buildings is to change floor
surface at junctions in a building. Some
blind can feel the change in
surface and knows that this is an
important area of a building.
However, it might be possible to go a little
further and be even more helpful.
Some public buildings have a clear
destination within - maybe the counters at
a bank or the reception in a hotel. This
carpet surface helps lead people towards
the key destination.
This material is made of rubber and is
therefore easy on the feet. The surface has
tiny rubber vertical 'fronds', that naturally
bend in the same single direction.
Brushing your feet in the direction of the
fronds generates little friction, yet
brushing against the grain is notably
The surface needs to be laid then such
that the fronds fall in the direction of the
reception. A blind visitor can feel their way
to the desk and indeed, by laying the
surface in the opposite direction on the
other side of the hallways, the direction
towards the doors can also be sensed.