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    Design with Equality in Mind
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‘Design with equality in mind…'
 
The brief was to imagine the hypothetical meeting of Sir Kenneth Grange a British product designer and Louis Braille the curator of the literacy code ‘Braille’ for the visually impaired. Both great designers in their own right I decided to focus on their shared ideas of functionality and communication within their work, while also adding in the individual focuses of style and aesthetics from Grange and equality design that can be used by everyone from Braille.  
After extensive research into products for the visually impaired I found that many where based solely on function. I wanted to create something that could be enjoyed by all as both a functional and beautiful object. I decided to create a desk lamp, designed to relieve the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, a deficiency that can also affect those with sight problems. The lamp would be created by the design company Sense who focus on incorporating style, tactile quality and functionality creating seamless products that can be enjoyed and understood by anyone.
 
The name for the lamp Penumbra comes from the from the Latin paene “almost, nearly” and umbra “shadow. Which relates to the three distinct parts of a shadow, penumbra is the region in which only a portion of the light source is obscured by the occluding body, this refers back to how individuals with sight impairments all register different amounts of light.
 
Kenneth Grange is famous for his classic Desk lamp designs and ability to create something completely practical, considering the tactile quality of his materials without compromising on aesthetics. 
 
Louis Braille strived for equality describing old literacy systems for the blind as methods that are attempting to talk to the fingers with the language of the eyes. 
 
‘Access to communication in the widest sense is access to knowledge, and that is vitally important for us if we [the blind] are not to go on being despised or patronised by condescending sighted people. We do not need pity, nor do we need to be reminded we are vulnerable. We must be treated as equals – and communication is the way this can be brought about.’
 
By creating an product that can be used by anyone and understood by anyone I feel is a way to achieve that equality.