News & Events

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1st of September – Research article published in the Terra Haptica Journal, Issue nº5

TH_Cover5“Message in Braille: A poetry book to inspire the world of the visually impaired”

Abstract

This project is a personalized poetry book produced as part of the Master of Design completed at DJCAD – University of Dundee – with the collaboration of ACAPO (Portuguese Association for the Blind and Partially Sighted) to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the book Mensagem (“Message”) by Fernando Pessoa – one of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest Portuguese poets.

This research was conducted from a graphic design perspective. Through different design methods and materials, it showed a path to explore the aesthetics of Braille book covers, establishing a visual and tactile connection between the book and the reader. Mensagemwas published in 1934 with the aim of acting over the minds of the readers. Pessoa dreamed of an idyllic society where ideas, culture and soul were represented, a society rebuilt through poetry and knowledge in its abstract form. Accordingly, by commemorating its anniversary in 2014, this project also highlights the importance of a more inclusive society.

This approach, through a multidisciplinary convergence among ceramics, artistic book restoration and design methods may inspire the world of visual impairment in the same way it may challenge tridimensionality and tactile interaction in graphic design.”

https://brunobrites.wordpress.com/articles-papers/

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28th – 30th of June: Blind Creations Conference 2015

This three-day international conference and micro arts festival (Blind Creations Conference), took place between 28 and 30 June 2015 at the Royal Holloway’s campus in Egham. Explored the relationship between blind people and artistic creation through different areas: Audio Description, Audiobooks, Book Design, Visual Art, Performance, Curating and Displaying Art for and by Blind People, Music, Sculpture and Adaptive Technologies.

The project “Message in Braille” was presented at this conference through the talk “Colours of Touch: A Graphic Design Experience for Blind People”, which focused on the methodologies used during the conception of the project. The Book Design Panel was shared with Danyelle Valente (‘Multi-sensory books created for and by blind children’) and Brandon Christopher (‘The Tactile Comic: A Reading of Philipp Meyer’s Life’).

My special thanks to the co-organizers Hannah Thompson (Royal Holloway) and Vanessa Warne (University of Manitoba, Canada) and all the volunteer staff, for their tireless support during these days.

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18th of June

The project “Message in Braille” was nominated for the Prémio Acesso Cultura 2015. The event was held at “Benfica Cosme-Damião” museum, on the 17th of June at 6.30pm.

You may check the list of the final winners on the following link: http://bit.ly/1HahCz8

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15th of May – XVII Clube de Criativos 2015

Exhibition of the selected projects at the Convento da Trindade – Lisbon.

The Clube de Creativos (Creative Club of Portugal) is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 and annually holds the most prestigious creative festival in Portugal which takes place traditionally at the end of May since 1997.

The main theme of 2015 is “Urgente é a Poesia”, which means “poetry is indispensable”.

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25th of Abril – IN Festival 2015 (Innovation and Creativity)

IN Festival is the biggest event of Innovation and Creativity held in Iberian Peninsula. The main theme for this 2nd edition is “Connecting the Networks in Network”. The aim is to affirm Lisbon as a Creative City, contributing to put the portuguese capital in the international networks of Creative Cities.

The project “Message in Braille” was invited to be part of this social network and to present a talk at the “Plateau Bojador”. The event also add the participation of the Vice President Graça Gerardo from ACAPO (Portuguese Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired),  and the President José Madeira Serôdio from INR (Portuguese Institute for the reahabilitation).

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23rd of Abril – World Book and Copyright Day

In this special day, it’s possible to announce that the “Message in Braille ” project  is already available at the following locations: Casa Fernando PessoaACAPO – Associação dos Cegos e Amblíopes de PortugalFundação José SaramagoFundação Calouste GulbenkianBiblioteca Nacional de Portugal, Instituto Nacional para a Reabilitação, STET Livros & FotografiasGaleria das Salgadeiras e Livraria – Galeria G.

“… On the sword found in your hands
Your glance falls.
‘What am I to do with this sword?’
You raised it aloft; and it was done”

“… À espada em tuas mãos achada
Teu olhar desce.
‘Que farei eu com esta espada?’
Ergueste-a, e fez-se.”

from the poem  ” COUNT HENRY (O CONDE D. HENRIQUE), at MENSAGEM from FERNANDO PESSOA

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4th of January 2015 – World Braille Day

Braille alphabet was invented by Louis Braille, a french blind boy with just fifteen years old, born in January 4, 1809. This writing system evolved from the tactile “Ecriture Nocturne” (night writing) code created by Charles Barbier, which was used to send military messages that could be read on the battlefield at night, with no light.

A full braille cell consists of six raised dots arranged in two parallel rows each having three dots. The dot positions are identified by numbers from one through six. Sixty-four combinations are possible using one or more of these six dots. A single cell can be used to represent an alphabet letter, number, punctuation mark, or even a whole word.

Braille is not a language, it is a code by which many languages—such as Portuguese, English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and dozens of others—may be written and read.

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18th of December 2014 | Open Day at “Grifo” Exhibition – Galeria das Salgadeiras (Art Galery)

– Presentation of the special edition “Mensagem” (in Braille);
– Braille books as art objects – a path to discover new inclusive territories.

Galeria das Salgadeiras inaugurated its new space with the exhibition “Grifo” (Griffin) which features new works by Claudio Garrudo, Helena Gonçalves, Jaime Vasconcelos, Joanna Latka, Marta Ubach, Pauliana Valente Pimentel and Teresa Gonçalves Lobo.
Curated by Ana Matos, the exhibition is inspired by the book “Mensagem” of Fernando Pessoa.

The exhibition can be seen until the 24th of January 3rd to Saturday from 15h to 21h.

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18th of December 2014 | Workshop “Mensagem”  (in Braille) at National Institute for the Rehabilitation (INR.IP)

– Presentation of the special edition “Mensagem” (in Braille);
– Resources for Braille books production;
– Reflection on the creative process as an inclusive tool;
– Debate about current problems and future solutions to develop reading practices in the field.

Audiences:

– Disabled people;
– Public Administration workers;
– ONG workers;
– Librarians;

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3rd of December 2014 | International Day of Persons with Disabilities – INR, I.P. (Portuguese National Institute for the Rehabilitation) awards the 1st Prize Engenheiro Jaime Filipe 2014 to the project “Mensagem em Braille” 

_LOGO_Jaime_Filipe_dtIn 2014 several projects applied for the Prize Award Engenheiro Jaime Filipe: 12 projects, 9 of individuals and 3 legal entities, based in Portugal. The 1st Prize was attributed to the project “Mensagem em Braille”.

Members of the Juri: Luís Patrão (DGC), Maria João Quintela (DGS), João Marcelino (INPI), Jorge Fernandes (FCT), Alexandra Botelho (ISS,IP), Rui Guimarão (IAPMEI) and Fátima Alves (INR, I.P.).

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The National Celebrations of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities were organized by the National Institute for Rehabilitation, and this year took place at the International Fair of Lisbon. During the event it was established the Blue Significant Protocol; the delivery of several awards; talks about technology and sports; and the day ended with the performance of the chorus “Mãos que Cantam” (The Singing Hands), from the Catholic University. This anniversary was settled by the UN in 1992 and this year had the theme “Sustainable Development: the technology promise.”

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Photographs are courtesy of Mario Henriques Manso.

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30th of November 2014 | Launch Day of “Mensagem” in Braille at Casa Fernando Pessoa – Lisbon

After a year and a half, the research undertaken during the Master of Design is now accessible to everyone. This special edition in Braille of the book “Mensagem”, commemorates the 80th anniversary of the first publication released in 1934.

My special thanks to Mrs Graça Gerardo and Mr António Nunes – the Braille readers who contributed on the creation of this book – and also to Joana Simão e Vasco Antunes – the owners of the ceramic atelier Joana Simão and the bookbinder atelier Traça Pombalina.

One last word to thank to everyone who attended the event at Casa Fernando Pessoa”.

“…The dream consists in seeing the invisible shapes
Of the hazy distance, and, with perceptible
Movements of hope and will,
Search out in the cold line of the horizon
The tree, the beach, the flower, the bird, the spring-
The well deserved kisses of Truth.”

From the poem “HORIZON” in “MENSAGEM”, by Fernando Pessoa

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Launch Day of the first Portuguese edition in Braille of ” Mensagem”, from Fernando Pessoa:

30th of November, 5.30 pm at Casa Fernando Pessoa

www.mensagembraille.com
www.facebook.com/mensagembraille

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First Portuguese edition of the book “Mensagem” in Braille to be launch on the 30th of November in Lisbon. This event results after one year of work, improving the master project finished in 2013 at DJCAD – University of Dundee.

A new window opens to explore the aesthetics of Braille books in the future. My grateful thanks to Casa Fernando Pessoa / EGEAC and ACAPO for making this day possible.


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18th of November 2014 | Braille book edition of “Mensagem” in final stages 

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5th of November 2014 | Visiting “Les Doigts Qui Rêvent” facilities in Dijon

Les Doigts Qui Rêvent is a French non-profit organization that works since 1993. They have the goal to create and produce Tactile Illustrated Books accessible to blind children with the same level of quality as books for sighted children.

Throughout the years they have been contributing in many other projects related with the field and co-operating with other countries and organizations. In 2010 they created the Terra Haptica Journal, within the framework of the research program “Haptic Communication”, which focuses on the social-cultural, communicational and cognitive aspects of the visual impairment.

Their tactile images are extremely sensitive and interesting even to sighted children. It’s amazing to walk through their work space and see all the tactile characters and figures spread over the desks, as if they were waiting to get into action.

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22nd of July 2014

THE 7th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AWARDS HONORABLE MENTION WINNERS ANNOUNCED

IDA 2013-hm“LOS ANGELES, Jul 01 2014, Bruno Brites from Portugal was Awarded: Honorable Mention in Books Competition for the “Message in Braille” Project.

IDA honorary juries examined over 1000 entries submitted by architects and designers of interiors, fashion, products, and graphics from 52 countries throughout the world. After final decisions had been made, the jury rewarded the best professional and emerging designers for their achievements in terms of design, creativity, usability and innovation. Judging was a rigorous process, with winners receiving publication of their work in the International Design Awards Book of Designs. The coveted IDA Trophy will be awarded to all Designer of the Year title winners at the official biennial International Design Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles.

This annual competition recognizes, honors and promotes legendary design visionaries and uncovers emerging talents in Architecture, Interior, Product, Graphic and Fashion Design on global level.

The members of the jury included Alice Blackwood Editor, Design Quarterly, Kahi Lee – Host, HGTV’s “Design on a Dime”, Style Network’s “My Celebrity Home”, Melissa Sterry – Interdisciplinary Design Scientist, Founder, Societas,Josh Rubin – Editor-in-Chief, Founder, and Publisher, Cool Hunting, Martin Venzky – Stalling, Senior Advisor, CMU STeP, Jeffrey Nemeroff – Co-Founder, Creative Director, Entra Magazine, Jordan Landes-Brenman CEO, Haute House PR & Marketing, Raj Nandan – Managing Director, Indesign Group, William Menking – Founder, Editor-in-Chief, The Architects’ Newspaper, Nicole Lloyd – Senior Art Buyer, Deutsch, Inc., Rebecca Epstein Kong – Co-founder, Artware Editions, Aaron Kenedi – Editor-in-Chief, Print, Geraldine Grisey – Editor, Punky B Fashion Diary.”


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17th of October 2013 | ACAPO organizes the 2nd edition of Braille Olympics

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ACAPO – The Portuguese Association of Blind and Partially Sighted – promotes, in 2013, the 2nd edition of the Braille Olympics, a contest nationwide addressed to all connoisseurs of this reading and writing system.

In the 2nd edition of this contest nationwide, the jury will reward the performance of participants who best know how to apply their knowledge of the 3rd Edition of the Braille Code for the Portuguese Language (2002) and, simultaneously, those who are most knowledgeable about the life of both Helen Keller and the Portuguese José Branco Rodrigues. As happened in the first edition, the contest is open to all connoisseurs of the Braille system, ie, visually impaired and sighted persons, which will be divided by the following scales: 8 to 12 years, 13 to 20 years, more than 20 years, and sighted persons.

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4th of September 2013 | “Message in Braille”

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“What is the role of a graphic designer when the visual contact is not possible to achieve?”

“Message in Braille” is a personalized poetry book produced in collaboration with ACAPO (Portuguese Association for the Blind and Partially Sighted) to commemorate the 80th anniversary of “Mensagem” – Message – by Fernando Pessoa, who was one of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest Portuguese poets.

Driven by a graphic design perspective, and, through different design methods and materials, this project opens a path to explore the aesthetics of Braille book covers, establishing a symbolic connection between the book and the reader. Reveals different layers of meaning beyond individual dots and words and act as a catalyst of new conversations about accessibility and visual impairment.

Being the discover of the unknown the universal essence of “Mensagem”, this project intends to inspire the world of visual impairments in the same way it may challenge tridimensionality and tactile interaction in graphic design.

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1st of June | Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design – University of Dundee

Image taken from:

http://masterofdesignforservices.com

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Master Project – Braille book of “Message” by Fernando Pessoa

PessoaMessage
This project is a personalized poetry book produced in collaboration with ACAPO (Portuguese Association for the Blind and Partially Sighted) to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the “Message” by Fernando Pessoa, which is one of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest Portuguese poets.

This research project was driven by a graphic design perspective, and indicates, through different design methods and materials, a path to explore the aesthetics of Braille book covers, establishing a symbolic connection between the book and the reader.

Moreover working together with visual impaired people, it was possible to connect the visual reality with tactile interactions, establishing a bridge to concepts of Inclusive Design and a new experience to blind people.

Finally the project gains a higher dimension by revealing the importance of Braille, as a symbol of accessible information, as a vehicle of independency and pivotal for education. Rescuing the book format, promotes a parallel discussion about the reading practices and the new technological devices.

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World Braille Day forum – 4th of January / 2013

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On the 4th of January it was celebrated the World Braille Day. To highlight this date ACAPO (Portuguese Association for the Blind and Partially Sighted) together with the INR (National Institute for Rehabilitation) organised a forum about the interaction between Braille and the New Technologies – Challenges for Literacy.

I would like to emphasise the interventions done by Cristina Miguel and Manuela Micaelo from the National Department of Education and Science with the project “Quatro Leituras – Four readers”. This project incorporates six books for children and intends to make the reading accessible. Each book is presented in four different formats: SPC (Pictographic Symbols for the Communication) – simple illustrations for disable people; LGP ( Portuguese Gestural Language ) in DVD; Braille printing; and also a DVD with educational content related with each story.

Also relevant were the presentations done by Carlos Ferreira and Maria Martins representing the Department of Accessible Reading from the National Library. It was assumed that the new technologies and Braille can complement each other. Braille displays with iPhone applications or the DASY project (Digital Accessible Information System) are examples that the problem is not the technological development, but what Men do with it.

Moreover, all the different testimonies after, helped to maximise two ideas. First the importance of Braille during their lifelong learning with a pivotal relevance on the education and the development of literacy. Second the influence that the new technological developments had in their lives, helping the access of information. Therefore, both contributed to one major fact, the independence of each individual.

Nevertheless, there are some aspects that should change and be improved as the case of the high cost of the new technological devices and the difficulty to implement accessible educational programs on schools.

To conclude, it was interesting to perceive that technology and Braille can share and live in a proactive territory. All these different projects and testimonies highlight the so-called “Braille Revolution,” in which I intend to participate using my research project and master.

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Accessibility at the University of Leipzig – World Congress Braille 21 – September 2011

All the communication is made under the accessibility guidelines inside and outside the university.







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Workshop – Picture Book Project  ( St.Josephs primary school ) – September 2011

This project is being handled by the Education department and Dundee Libraries. They produced a children’s picture book, together with the children of St Joseph’s primary school. Their aim now is to print the book in Braille.

On last Friday, 10th of June, Ms Helen Budge, a blind lady, came along to work with the children and to introduce them to Braille alphabet.

I had the opportunity to meet Ms Moira Foster, the project coordinator, who invited me to attend the workshop. It was amazing to see the children enthusiasm to decipher and to learn more about Braille.

When the doorbell rang, and to my surprise, the only thing that rose into the air were restless arms awaiting the time for more questions.

At the end of the session I had the possibility to have a very interesting talk with Ms Helen about my project research… almost occupying the children’s enthusiastic place.

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Braille21 Congress

World Congress Braille21 –
Innovations in Braille in the 21st Century

Between 27th and the 30th of September the World Congress Braille21 will happen in Leipzig, in Germany.

This event is about the importance of  Braille on the life of blind and visual impaired people. All the issues that today are associated with the reading process on this field will be discussed by persons from all over the world.

The themes to be debated on the congress are:

  1. Education and literacy
  2. Vocational training, employment and lifelong learning
  3. Research and development
  4. Improving access to information
  5. Braille as a part of Universal Design
  6. The role of Braille in enabling independent living

I am quite enthusiastic with the possibility to participate on this event.

More information could be found on http://www.braille21.net/en/welcome.

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Visual Impairment Descriptive Tour Sharing and Training Day

On the 25th of February, I went to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, to join this event. Educators and students from the UK arts and heritage sector were invited for a day-long training session examining how to deliver verbal descriptive tours for visually impaired audiences.

In the morning different speakers talked about their experiences and knowledge…

In the afternoon everyone was very excited to do the workshops, I did the followings:
“Working with 3D Conceptual Works”
Aim:Enjoy art and inspire discussion; To give a way in to the concepts/ideas behind two installations pieces at GMA.

“Planning and Delivering Touch Tours”
Aim:To examine how touch tours might, within a gallery or museum context, consider approaches to both artworks and artifacts.

“Working with Photography and Drawing/Prints”

Aim:Provide frameworks to describe and work with 2-D materials

– Training participants were offered eye pads to wear before entering the gallery to experience a descriptive tour without seeing the work.

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When Braille influence art

Amazing work done by New Zealand sculpture Anton Parsons.

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