3DPhotoWorks: tactile artwork for the blind and visually impaired

Martina CavalieriArtLeave a Comment

painting-tacticle-for-the-blind

3DPhotoworks is a company founded in 2008 by John Olson, a photographer who develops and design 3D prints for visually disabled people.

The goal of the company is to provide the blind with access to art and photography at every museum and every international exposition, so they can experience firsthand the art around them.

“More than 285 millions of people” said the photographer, “are unable to admire the splendid paintings all the greatest artists have produced over the years, this is why we want to change the situation. To blind people, the ability to see art on their own represents independence, equality and freedom. 3D tactile printing allows them to establish their own opinions about a painting or a photo. They no longer need to rely on an author’s words, accept a docent’s point of view or take an educator’s equation for granted.”

 

John Olson with a 3D copy of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci and a 3D painting of the Portrait of Dr.Gachet by Van Gogh

John Olson with a 3D copy of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci and a 3D painting of the Portrait of Dr.Gachet by Van Gogh

To start this ambitious project Olson decided to create a Kickstarter campaign in order to realize and donate museums the 3D copy of many famous artworks; the goal was to raise $500.000, which is certainly a huge amount of money, but there is a reason he was trying to achieve such an expensive goal. In fact each painting needs a team of professionals and designers who study the work and produce an exact 3D copy, not only by printing it but also by specially coloring it. Furthermore, each painting is equipped with a system of built-in sensors that allow the users to feel them better. When the viewer touches a certain area of the print, this triggers a recorded voice that describes what is happening in that point.

In this video, you can see what some people felt when touching these artworks during an exposition at the National Federation of the Blind’s National Convention.

Even if the campaign did not reach the hoped goal, Olson’s team keeps working at this project constantly, in order to bring –not today, but perhaps tomorrow, the world’s greatest art to the blind.

Did you ever go to a tactile art exposition? If so, please tell us your experience and report the museum that hosted it to us :)

 

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Martina Cavalieri
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Martina Cavalieri

I’m a 26 years old Italian graphic designer with a passion for typography and company branding. I have an MA in Industrial and Graphic Design and I’m currently Graphic Designer at Horus.

In my spare time I write for my art blog called Martineken and I keep pursuing my interest by doing graphic concepts and mock-ups.
Martina Cavalieri
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Questo articolo è disponibile anche in: Italian