Monday, July 29, 2013

New Gallaudet University dorm specially designed to be Deaf-friendly

From Design Taxi:

Gallaudet University, a college for the deaf and hard of hearing, has built a dormitory that caters to the unique needs of their students.

The building was designed in a collaboration between New York-based design firm LTL , Quinn Evans Architects, Sigal Construction and DeafSpace, a campus initiative that developed a set of design guidelines that takes into account the unique architectural needs of the deaf.

The DeafSpace architectural design elements addresses “five major touch points between deaf experiences and the built environment: space and proximity, sensory reach, mobility and proximity, light and color, and finally acoustics.”

For example, stopping to open a door may interrupt conversations, so sliding doors are used instead.

Walls are painted in colors that cut glare, and the building takes advantage of daylight, reducing the eyestrain associated with communicating in sign language.

Amphitheaters are also designed to have perfect sight lines, no matter where you sit, so you’ll always have a clear view of the speaker’s hands.

The buildings also incorporate special acoustic panels and carpets to reduce ambient noise, to better accommodate students with hearing aids.