Have you ever spent a few minutes thinking about how sightless people perceive their surroundings? How something so simple for us, like shopping for groceries, can be a much harder thing if you can´t see?
Alexandra Burling, design student in Stockholm, Sweden, asked herself the same questions. “Is it possible to make an aesthetically appealing packaging design for the visually impaired? Is it possible to give the sightless the same experiences as people with vision?”
As her graduation project she took on the challenge to answer these questions and started to get to know her audience. She actually even tried to be blind herself just so she could get a glimpse of the experience that’s everyday life for a blind person.
“I want to give blind people the liberty of doing something so obvious as going down to the supermarket and buying milk,” Alexandra explains. She found that groceries are extremely lacking in information written in Braille (blind script) on their packaging.
To present her project she displayed her new packaging in a small room that she had previously transformed into a grocery store. But only one person at a time was invited in, and they had to experience it blind. They walked in and closed the door, and after 20 seconds the lights were turned off and the sound of beeping registers and similar sounds were turned on. So the people in there had to feel the packaging in the same type of conditions as if they were blind.
The packages themselves were designed with a focus on touch and feeling, but they also informed about their content and how to open them. Her goal was actually to start the discussion and to maybe pave the way for innovative thinking around packaging and their designs. “I want my project to be innovative and meaningful, this does not exist in the world and I want to create it,” Alexandra says.
We are really impressed by this project and the innovative packaging design she has created, and we are looking forward to seeing more of this in the near future.