How A Blind Architect Still Practices His Trade

Chris Downey lost his sight just two and a half years after taking over a design firm's architecture practice. The Atlantic explains how today, he's in some ways even more effective at his craft than ever before.

It's a fascinating profile, exploring how Downey found a blind computer scientist who provided a way to print Braille blueprints. Today, he acts as a consultant on projects like SmithGroup's rehabilitation centre for the blind in Palo Alto:

"He can't just look at a drawing at a glance," [SmithGroup VP Eric Meub told me later. "At first I thought, Okay, this is going to be a limitation. But then I realised that the way he reads his drawings is not dissimilar to the way we experience space. He'll be walking through a plan with his index finger, discovering things, and damn, he's walking through the building!"

It's a good old-fashioned feel-great story about how technology can empower us, and definitely worth a read. [The Atlantic Monthly]