The brief was to design 3 different spaces (Gallery, Workshop, Retail) of different programmes yet maintaining a progressive spiritual & psychological journey whilst transversing these spaces. The programmes have to be based on a freely selected trade not necessarily found locally. The users are the public & also the trademasters.
My initial response to the brief was a personal one. As someone who loves to draw & paint, I decided to design the spaces inspired by the domain of an artist. But, art galleries are already abundant. It took me quite a while to ponder upon other various possibilities. Hence, in deduction I thought; artists live with 5 senses, usually more sensitive & responsive compared to non-artists. What if sight is removed from the 5? The ability to touch, listen, taste & smell remain, leaving an artist fully functional, but without being able to see, can he/she still function as an artist? Do blind artists really exist?
Did my research, and there are actually artists who are visually impaired. Lisa Fittipaldi was one of my inspirations. And so was Esref Armagan.
Their persistence & determination was a tremendous inspiration to me. In order to create a gallery to display the artworks of the blind, the public has to first own the mind of a blind and disown vision by introducing darkness & subtracting light. Without being able to see, one's other senses will naturally be more responsive and a space can be experienced differently. Below's my reflection to the subject.