Sensing the city for deaf and hearing children and caregivers.
The city, and particularly public spaces, have a great challenge in the 21st century, to develop new ways of responding to inhabitants’ individualities. This project invites us to conceive a city that includes different ways of sensing the space. We work with the school 197 for deaf children in Montevideo, Uruguay, with the aim of improving the mobility and communication in surrounding public areas. The project proposes the spatial and visual redesign of the shared spaces in a residential block that connect the school and the nearby square in the search to promote its inclusive use, and to integrate the deaf community in spaces in which they live, but cannot occupy.
How you use the guide?
For us, the guide was a great methodology for finding particular challenges in the city that we have previously overlooked. In this case, deaf children’s and their caregivers’ experience. Using various tools, we were able to link advocacy and urban design in order to promote and raise awareness about the deafness in the city, the limited communication for deaf children that exists in the public space and the opportunity to encourage and nurture day-to-day caregiving and learning through the experience of public spaces, life and play.
What you have learned?
This Project responds to the lack of empirical knowledge in urban design about the difficulties and opportunities that deaf children and their caregivers have. We have redesigned a street corridor connecting the School 197 and square, and prototyped public furniture that promotes experiencing space and communicating through various senses. We did this together with the Montevideo Municipality, deaf children and their families, school teachers, neighbours (etc).
The project has had a great impact in the city, exploring with local authorities and planners how to recognise the value of inclusive city, especially for children who are in the most important period of their cognitive, physical, emotional and social development.
Power in Numbers