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A Bridge Model for the Blind

A Bridge Model for the Blind

Minneapolis Model Builder Designs a Bridge Model for the Blind to Better Visualize the Stillwater Lift Bridge

Model of the Stillwater Lift Bridge uses unconventional materials to help low vision individuals better understand the project.

Minneapolis architectural model builder, Feyereisen Studios, recently completed a project for the Stillwater Lift Bridge. Unlike most architectural models, the model of the Stillwater Lift Bridge was designed so that the visually impaired could feel and better visualize the model.

The idea to build a physical model of the Stillwater Lift Bridge was undertaken in an effort to enlist the assistance of the disabled community to make it easier for everyone to visualize and clearly understand the project.

Throughout the five-week building phase, a number of blind and visually impaired individuals visited Feyereisen Studios to provide insight and advice on how to best represent the bridge’s features, in order for the visually impaired to gain a better understanding of what they were feeling when they touched the model.

The architectural model builders utilized various unconventional materials, including magnets to make breakaway lamp posts, sandpaper to indicate detectable warnings, raised crosswalk markings to indicate the crosswalk, fuzzy grass, and everything on the model was labeled with both a large text size and Braille for low vision people to understand the plans for the bridge.

“This project really helped me better understand the issues of the blind,” said Robert Feyereisen, Feyereisen Studios. “Providing citizens with the ability to actually ‘see’ and ‘feel’ all the aspects of the project three dimensionally, provides a greater understanding of the project that seems to make people more comfortable in offering their support for the project.”

The model of the Stillwater Lift Bridge will be available for viewing at an open house at the Washington County Government Center, 14949 62nd Street North, Suite 560 in Stillwater, on Thursday, February 5, 2009 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Feyereisen Studios is an architectural model builder based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Having been in business since 1991, Feyereisen Studios provides the architectural community with fine, hand-crafted architectural models and laser-cut parts. For more information about Feyereisen Studios and their work on the Stillwater Lift Bridge, call 612-910-7268.

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