Architecture Without Vision

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What is architecture if you cannot see? How might we perceive if we ignore our dominant visual sense to focus on inputs from the senses that we rarely engage as we move through the built environment? How might architects design buildings to fully engage our senses? This thesis began to address that question through research including a literature search, analysis of examples of architecture for visually impaired users, and interviews with blind individuals and people who work with visually impaired people. This research informed the development of a set of principles for the design of built environments that enrich the ability to people along the spectrum from sighted to blind to navigate the spaces of their lives through multi-sensory perception. These principles are tested by application to the design of a building, a Creative Co-Lab, in which blind and sighted users come together on the Baltimore waterfront to learn collaboratively about the multi-sensory ways to perceive and create space, place, and objects without vision.