WELTSTUDIO

Dots on the chest

In the WELTSTUDIO, all visitors are invited to take part. Now the inclusive elements for the blind and visually impaired have been tested.

Melanie Huber | 8. September 2021

Auf einem Tisch liegt ein Infoblatt in Brailleschrift.

Ugne Metzner sets her pen down. She reaches for the sheet of paper in front of her and runs her fingertips over the protruding lines. They depict the contours or outlines of a human body in a self-drawn sea of yellow, green, blue and pink rectangles. Ugne Metzner turns her head and asks Dennis Müller, member of the WELTSTUDIO team: “Is my person colourful enough?”

Ugne Metzner has been blind since the age of 20. She and two other visually impaired women are now testing the tactile materials and objects for the WELTSTUDIO facilitation team. That’s because the participatory stations in the WELTSTUDIO, consisting of three large-scale cartographers, have inclusive elements. “It’s important to us to provide equal access to everyone,” says Constanze Schröder, curator of the WELTSTUDIO.

Eine Frau liest eine Karte in Brailleschrift.
Eine Frau liest eine Karte in Brailleschrift.
© Stadtmuseum Berlin, Foto: Melanie Huber
In addition to two points for the eyes, there are also dots in the chest and stomach area. They are for guidance.

Constanze Schröder and her team have developed numerous materials together with inkl. Design, the agency for inclusive design in Berlin. For example, in addition to the human-sized posters, A3 posters with swell paper were also created for the body cartographer. Swell paper is a special type of paper that can display tactile graphics.

“During the development of the design, we worked with focus groups, including people who are blind or visually impaired,” says Constanze Schröder as she lifts up the poster with the human contours. “For example, the focus group asked if there could be a dot placed in the chest area, and another in the area of the stomach.”

The upper dot is near the heart: as you feel the outlines, the small, tactile graphic is a good guide. Silja Korn, a member of the focus group, likes that: “It’s easy to stay within the boundaries and draw the figure.”

An einem Tisch sitzen Menschen und gestalten Poster.
The posters for the body cartographer are designed in the workshop area of the WELTSTUDIO.
An einem Tisch sitzen Menschen und gestalten Poster.
© Stadtmuseum Berlin, Foto: Melanie Huber
Zwei Frauen gestalten ein Poster.
Contrasts are important in order for people to be able to work well. For this reason, the stencil for visually impaired people is coloured black.
Zwei Frauen gestalten ein Poster.
Ein Hund schaut an der Kamera vorbei.
Kalle, the guide dog, also participates attentively in the workshop.
Ein Hund schaut an der Kamera vorbei.
© Stadtmuseum Berlin, Foto: Melanie Huber
Eine Frau betrachtet ihr selbst gestaltetes Poster.
Ugne Metzner is using coloured pencils developed for visually impaired people.
Eine Frau betrachtet ihr selbst gestaltetes Poster.
© Stadtmuseum Berlin, Foto: Melanie Huber

But Silja Korn, Ugne Metzner and Mandy Hamann have more than just coloured pencils at their disposal. There are also pipe cleaners, feathers, balls and high-contrast stencils in the inclusive material boxes. These can be requested from the facilitators at WELTSTUDIO. “The floor guidance system in the WELTSTUDIO leads directly to the three information booklets in Braille located at the cartographers,” explains Constanze Schröder. “The information booklets introduce the three cartographers and name the facilitators as contact persons.” In addition, at each cartographer – the weaving, rolling and body cartographer – there are additional information booklets in Braille describing the stations in detail.

Eine Frau steht vor einer Stellwand und schaut zu ihrem Hund hinunter.
Eine Frau steht vor einer Stellwand und schaut zu ihrem Hund hinunter.
© Stadtmuseum Berlin, Foto: Melanie Huber
Guide dog Kalle follows Ugne Metzner everywhere – even into the WELTSTUDIO.

Equality in interactions

Ugne Metzner is finished with her poster. Guide dog Kalle watches his owner put it up. Ugne Metzner is satisfied with her work – and also with what WELTSTUDIO has to offer: “I’ve been testing tactile objects and materials for the Stadtmuseum Berlin for a few years now. The team engages with others and creates equality in interactions. This isn’t something that should be taken for granted.”

Ugne Metzner would like to see less shyness from people who have no disabilities. Perhaps the WELTSTUDIO is just the right place to learn that people don’t have to be shy.

Welcome to the WELTSTUDIO

Whether body, weaving or rolling cartographer: Get to know the WELTSTUDIO - the place for workshops and mediation, for spontaneous participation and lingering and for cooperation with the diverse urban society.