V&A could trial wayfinding system

London’s Victoria & Albert Museum may adopt Royal College of Art research associate David Sweeney’s revolutionary wayfinding system for the visually impaired (pictured).

London’s Victoria & Albert Museum may adopt Royal College of Art research associate David Sweeney’s revolutionary wayfinding system for the visually impaired (pictured).

Sweeney presented his latest findings, The Sound of North/ Wayfinding for Visually Impaired People, at the RCA last week.

His work exploits existing technologies, such as mobile phones, swipe cards and smart cameras, to generate a variety of sophisticated orientation and identification information.

Karen Livingstone, V&A head of projects, says that Sweeney’s research is very much in line with the museum’s commitment to inclusive design and providing information that is accessible to all.

‘We would like to invite David to run a trial at the V&A,’ she says. ‘I don’t know what form that trial would take, but we are very interested in the idea of visitors being able to use their mobile or Blackberry technology to access our exhibitions – and eventually to do away with the need for paper.’

Livingstone has revealed that she has a ‘specific project in mind’ for Sweeney/ the second phase of the ambitious 26 000-object ceramic gallery, opening in early 2010.

‘There is no room [there] for traditional labelling,’ says Livingstone, ‘so we want to use this technology to allow people to stand in the gallery and download object information directly.’




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