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Architecture and sightless
Luciaková, Katarína ; Petelen, Ivan (referee) ; Žalmanová, Petra (referee) ; Ing.Petr Karásek (referee) ; Šindlar, Jiljí (advisor)
This thesis explores the relationship between architecture and the blind people. For better clarity and understanding of the topic, The work has been divided into five distinctive parts. In the first, introduction part, I approach space sensation of a blind person from the physiological and psychological angle. This analysis is very important for the understanding of imagination, which the blind person has. Another important fact to understand is the way in which the blind person gets the information about the space and what is his ability to process it. Further, I explain the basic principles of the blind person’s movement through space and describe instructions of how to help blind people in the concrete spatial situations. In the next part, I give a short information about the historical progress of the relation between the society and the blind people. An important fact is that, as late as 200 years ago, the blind people were considered as “sub men” and did not have the full freedom privilege. This relation has been modified over time and nowadays, the blind people have the freedom of movement and all the rights to enjoy their lives. To meet the needs of the blind people, many associations have been created that act on their behalf. The associations have different modes of functioning, but their common goal is to help blind people with their social rehabilitation, looking for employment and removing architectural barriers. The core of my work is divided into two parts. In the first one, I focus on the problematic of the blind people and architecture from the functional aspect. The functional aspect is vital for the blind people. It corresponds to their safety in the environment. In this chapter, I treat in detail basic elements for designing buildings, for specifying barriers and principles of design for blind people. Furthermore, I describe the help tools the blind people need in order to move in the space. I evaluate the future of these tools and indicate the rapid technological progression which makes the life of blind people more comfortable. In the next part, I focus on the problematic of the blind people and architecture from the aesthetic aspect. This question has not been much explored yet, but is, nonetheless, very important. In this part of my work, I use more my personal experience and the knowledge coming from the exploration of space. Aesthetical values are subjective for all the people, with or without a handicap. Therefore, in this final chapter, I try to note the facts that can be used in the process of the aesthetical perception and to reflect on them. In the domain of aesthetical research, there also exist tools and institutions that help blind people in their comprehension of architecture. The division of my work emerged from the compilation of diverse facts in the process of writing. This thesis has an informative and practical character. It is intended for people who want to understand and to be informed about how to design architecture for the blind people. It will be directed towards people who build this kind of architecture and need an overview of how to make it. It is also intended for people interested in learning more about architecture.

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