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Design beyond sight

07 September 2007

Cardiff University is to host a public exhibition of design prototypes of everyday objects adapted for the visually impaired highlighting some of the difficulties blind and partially sighted people can experience.

‘Design beyond sight’ opens to the public at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences (7 September to 10 October , weekdays 10am-4pm). Nicola Heywood Thomas presenter of BBC Radio Wales' weekly arts show launched the exhibition at a private viewing and reception.

The exhibition shows the work of design students from the Czech and Slovak Republics. Designs on show cover a wide variety of objects, ranging from a CD and MP3 player to ceramic sign posting and from distinguishing clothes markers to a credit card filing system.

The inter-active exhibits were selected for both their aesthetic qualities and are designed to be enjoyed by both sighted and blind people.

Professor Tim Wess, Head of the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, said: "We are privileged to be able to display this exhibition in our new building as part of a wider School programme improving access to art for all.

"As our populations grow older more and more people are going to experience sight loss and it is essential that everything is done to help them maintain their independence and live fulfilling lives. It is heartening that so many designers, from a country famous for its design skills, are focusing their creativity on the needs of people with sight loss."

The exhibition is supported by Cardiff University, University of Wales Institute Cardiff, Cardiff Institute for the Blind, Royal National Institute for the Blind Cymru, and The Design Centre of the Czech Republic.

The exhibition will be held in the Atrium of the new £21M Optometry building situated on Maindy Road, Cathays, CF24 4LU and attendance is free.