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NOOR -E-NAFZ- The light of the soul…an urban exploration of the blind experience

Dwiti Singh, Aditya Vijayraj, Shubhangi Sharma & Tejas Wagh

‘NOOR E NAFZ' or looking at life through the soul gauges the blind experience by exploring the spectrum of blindness through a spatial translation into an urban museum. In order to empathize with the wide expanse of individuals encapsulated as "blind", the museum is decoded through simple yet profound installations.
Located at popular urban nodes, the installations manifest themselves as spaces allowing accessibility to a larger audience and their active participation.

The first installation "Sparsh", is designed as a symbolic representation of the intellect a visually impaired person uses every day. The pavilion changes its level using steps and ramps, similar to how our built and unbuilt worlds inherently pose a challenge. The spatial sequences unveil a symphony of textures of polished stone with rough textured stone, beckoning touch and allowing the user to trace the narratives etched into each surface.

It brings together different types of terrain, and an element of surprise and along with it, a constant need for judgment. The ceiling level changes, causing a dynamism in volume and sound. An array of tactile vertically installed surfaces guides the user throughout the installation. The aim is to curate an inherent interest of the user where they enter the installation as a game yet have understood the blind experience when they emerge out.

Blindness is often mistaken for total darkness, however, what one fails to understand is that it is a spectrum. “Nazariya”, is envisioned as a walkway through multiple layers of vertical panels. The first panel is completely opaque, symbolizing the generic take on blindness however the panels decrease their opacity. The last panel, thus, is transparent glass with the text ”BLINDNESS IS A SPECTRUM”. This creates a resonant network that not only empathizes with blindness but celebrates the kaleidoscope of human sensory experience.

“Jyoti”, becomes an architectural exploration of a single element, light. As visual impairment is at many times a result of injuries or age, it is sudden, unaccustomed, and surprising. The installation therefore brings together various voids and volumes as users go from room to room. As the path proceeds, darkness gets more intense, and just as the user adjusts their eyes, they are let out into extremely bright spaces. Thus, by altering light levels the same human eyes were able to see the world through the vision of the blind.

These three installations thus become an extension to the urban spaces, transforming mundane everydayness into an empathetic experience.
They are like architectural epiphanies that provide a transformative lens through which every visitor can perceive the world with their souls. Thus becoming a significant part of the blind experience, evoking profound introspection and understanding in the users.

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