Dr Chris Downey
Sunday, 15 Rajab 1439 AH - 1 April 2018 AD 8:30 - 9:00am - Address(Main Auditorium-Round Auditorium)
Christopher V. Downey, AIA
Architecture for the Blind
With 20 years of architectural practice before losing all sight in 2008, Chris Downey now leverages his disability as a unique strength specializing in projects rooted in universal design and in projects that are specific to or challenging for people who are blind and visually impaired. Whether rehabilitation or transit centers, eye clinics, or museums, he designs environments that are accessible with particular care and focus on visual accessibility and the non-visual experience. Chris has consulted on projects in San Francisco, California including the Lighthouse for the Blind, the Independent Living Resource Center and the Transbay Transit Center as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs Polytrauma and Blind Rehabilitation Center in nearby Palo Alto, CA. He has also consulted on various planning and public transit projects including the development of the Downtown Corridor Plan for the nearby City of Concord, design and community engagement for the AC Transit Bus Rapid Transit project, and has consulted with and advised BART on numerous accessibility and Universal Design initiatives. He has consulted nationally on such projects as the Duke University Eye Center in Durham, North Carolina, renovations to housing for the blind in New York City and for accessibility improvements for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, IL. He is currently consulting on the new headquarters for the National Industries for the Blind in Alexandria, VA, the new UPMC Eye Institute in Pittsburgh, PA the development of a new inclusive wayfinding strategy for Microsoft's campus in Redmond, WA and a new campus and building(s) for the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Aberdeen, SD. His work is now global consulting with Grimshaw Architects of the UK and Thinc Design of New York for the Expo 2020, Sustainability Pavilion in Dubai, UAE.
As an architect and designer deeply
Chris also teaches accessibility and Universal Design for the University of California, Berkeley Department of Architecture, is involved with two federally funded research projects including the development of design guidelines for improved wayfinding and orientation for the blind and visually impaired in airports for the Federal Aviation Administration and has a Gubernatorial appointment to the California Commission on Disability Access. He has served on the board of directors for the LightHouse for the Blind of San Francisco since 2010 and as its president since 2016. He speaks internationally about Architecture and visual
Chris received his Bachelor of Environmental Design from North Carolina State University in 1984 and his Masters of Architecture from the University of California Berkeley in 1992.
Empathetic Eyes: Outsights from my Blind Avatar
Architect Chris Downey invites you to step inside his blind avatar to experience his vision and fascination of architecture, life