While there are blind painters who are able to create masterpieces, have you ever wondered about the rest of the blind or visually impaired population and how they appreciate art? Considering that they cannot see, and since most paintings have a “no touching” policy, it would be almost impossible, right? Well looking to change that and allow the blind to enjoy pieces of art just like everyone else, a group of Harvard students have embarked on a project called “Midas Touch”, which essentially takes advantage of 3D printing to allow the blind to “see” pieces of art.
The concept behind Midas Touch is simple – regular flat images, such as Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, are printed in 3D with layers of texture on top of it to help the blind or visually impaired “see”, or rather feel, the art. It should be noted that this is purely theoretical at this point and that the team is currently working on prototypes to prove that their idea has merit. After all, braille has been designed to allow the blind to read, so couldn’t something similar be done for art as well? The team is currently trying overcome some hurdles, one of which involves color, as in how do they translate color into a feeling. Pretty cool stuff and we can’t wait to see where they can take it.
[Image credit - Evgenia Eliseeva]