Tactile Living is a…
project dedicated to a chosen celebrity chef by turning an old warehouse into an inspirational space for the chef and his/her family to be inspired during the stay. To take on the challenge with this project, I decided to choose Christine Ha as my chef, a first blind contestant and a winner at Masterchef season 3. The way Christine overcame her difficulties and live her best life is my main inspiration to influence my design.
why Tactile Living?
a design for clients with vision loss so that they can be comfortable within the space and also activate all the senses to guide them through out their own home.
Get in touch with the client
Since the project is about human-centered design, I decided to contact Christine for an interview so that the design would be a perfect fit for her needs. I sent out a set of questions about her life style to understand more about the difficulties she runs into and how she finds the comfort to overcome those obstacles in her everyday life. Getting back the answers, I could genuinely empathy for Christine and used those information as a guide throughout my project.
Christine Ha was born in Los Angeles County, California. Her parents are of Vietnamese origin. Her mother died of lung cancer when she was 14. Christine completed her education from the University of Texas with a Bachelor degree in Bussiness Administration and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Fiction and Nonfiction at the University of Houston. Christine was diagnosed with neuromyelitis optica, in which her immune system attacks the optic nerves and spinal cord. She lost her sight and was almost completely blind by 2007.
With many disadvantages in her life, she has never stepped down, but fights back and overcomes any obstacles. With a huge passion for cooking, but never studied it, she won the Masterchef title as the first-ever blind winner at the competition. Besides being a supporter of the culinary, she loves writing, traveling with her husband, and uses adaptive technologies to help her manage her social media regularly all by herself. Christine is now living her best life, one that no one can notice her loss of sight.
What is intuition? Intuition is an ability to understand something immediately, and this is what Christine’s home will be designed based on. With her loss of sight, sensory space is her priority. The design of the house will mostly focus on incorporating the texture, contrast of color, environment, and natural light by using water, changes of flooring, and how the light enters the space.
Early Design / Sketches
Floor Plan with Furnitures
Rendered Floor Plan
SOUND . SIGHT . TOUCH
This waterfall wall enhances Christine’s cooking experience by shifting her focus to the sound of water, and the sound will drown out all the sounds that might raise red flags in the brain. This is very important for people with vision loss because too many noises happen at once can make her overwhelming and frustrated.
This garden archway will give Christine the dark and light contrast experience. When Christine walks through it, there will be beams of sunlight shooting through the vines, hitting her eyes that will give her the sense of whereabouts. After walking through this archway, she will be exposed to direct sunlight, and that is when she knows that she has arrived at the garden.
With seeing difficulty, curve walls would be the perfect fit for Christine’s home so that there will be no sharp edges could harm her. Curve walls will also give Christine the comfort to move around before entering her private bedroom. To provide this wall a better function, a rope wall is added so that Christine can feel the rope with her bare hands when she passes by.