Date of Submission

Spring 5-7-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Selen Okcu


According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 2.2 billion people who have a near or distance vision impairment. Vision has historically been considered the most important of the senses; therefore, when this sense becomes obstructed, an individual’s lifestyle can be harshly impacted. Because their vision becomes obstructed, visually impaired individuals run into various daily life challenges such as having difficulty navigating around independently, stigma in society, leisure, accessibility, and isolation. This can be due to the issue that the built environment has tended to neglect building for all senses. For this reason, an architectural goal has been to design with equity. Where the built environment should be designed with sensory translation to guarantee that all elements are vivid for every sensory realm. While certain parameters such as lighting, color, contrast, olfactory, haptics, auditory, materiality, and spatial layout have made progress for a visually impaired individual to navigate throughout a space, we tend to neglect that for an individual to be fully immersed in a space, we must also enhance the experience impaired individuals tend to miss out on. To address this issue, I want to develop extensive research on experience orientation, positioning awareness and navigation [wayfinding] that can be achieved through different tactile materials, acoustic treatments, and lighting implementations. I would like to further investigate the elements of light and shadow and their phenomenology aspect that they can have on an environment by giving emphasis to geometry and the evolution of contrast through an area. This thesis will focus on phenomenological investigation and explore how a visually impaired person perceives an individual element and links them together in its entirety to tell them where they are in a space to regain independence of navigation and safety in the built environment.

Included in

Architecture Commons