Young Designers 2009

Shreya Sarda
Graphic Design | PGDPD
Proposal of Signages in a Heritage Museum Specific Context for the Visually Impaired
Guide Immanuel Suresh
Sponsonr Self Sponsored
> Heritage museum
> Signage systems
> Visually Impaired
> Universal design
The concept of universal design is being implemented in newly created buildings and spaces. However, little consideration has been given to universal design in heritage buildings to make them user friendly, accessible and legible to all visitors.
For my project, I analyzed the interaction between visually impaired individuals, the museum and signage in the Udaipur Palace Museum.

I commenced my research process with a study of museums as a concept. I then studied the Udaipur palace museum, its site vocabulary, Rajasthanís tourism sector and its current heritage legislation and INTACH conservation objectives. The next phase involved studying signage for disability access and understanding users and decision points. I also reviewed universal inclusive design across the globe. A SWOT analysis of the Udaipur Place Museumís signages followed along with lighting studies. Next, I conducted user studies among tourists, school children, and differently- abled people.

My design proposals included changing display modes as per the lighting conditions in daylight and in dim light, changing colors for color blind, changing type size and other parameters for low-vision people. The display modes can be customized, thus the resulting interface, location finder, way finder are pre-fed and the path to the destination can be easily traced. I also designed a guide-book providing signage guidelines for individuals with low vision in heritage museums in Rajasthan.

In museums, universal design goes beyond accessibility issues and extends to an educational experience involving multisensory, multimodal experiences. I am glad that as a graphic designer, I could serve this educational cause.
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