Touching Art Interactive Educational Displays


The Pio Christian Museum houses the most important collection of Early Christian sculpture in the world. To allow everyone to experience the collection, even the blind and visually impaired, the curators have designed a special tactile desplay that provides resin casts of five chosen works, accompanied by an explaination.
The individual casts will be displayed on stands next to the original works, in a way that highlights the new potential enjoyment of the space without interfering with the traditional museum display. The structure of the metal base, with no sharp edges or corners, is designed to meet the needs of the blind, and visually and physically impaired. These displays provide a complete experience that pairs. the specially designed text in the information panel (in Italian/English Relief and Braille) with simultaneous tactile exploration of the work us- ing the cast.

Detailed Description of the Project

The display structure will meet the needs of the blind and visually impaired in several ways. It will be constructed of metal, free from any sharp edges, and coated with a RILSAN system that provides cushioning in case of impact. The continuity between the relief image and display panel will make it easy for the visitors to explore and understand the works. The structure will be positioned at a height that will allow the blind and disabled to reach the panels easily and the mold will be directly porportional to the original work. We would like to establish this system for five different works.

The text only touch panels intended for museum display fuction by removing all barriers between the visitor and the sense of touch. In accordance with DPR 503, they will be constructed of a sixty by forty centimeter acrylic block with reinforced aluminium backing. They will be painted and the characters will appear in normal magnified relief (for tactile reading) and embossed Braille characters. Both the relief and Braille texts will be printed in colors that contrast with the back- gound, likely blue or another color with a luminescene at least forty percent greater than that of the background. This is to provide a suitable reading surface for visitors with impaired color perception. The relief text will be capitalized in a Sans Serif font to provide easy reading for the blind and visually impaired. The Braille text will be inserted into the rear panel with rounded edg- es, to avoid irritation of the fingertips.