It was my first experience at the DiD, and I have been looking forward to it since weeks ago! I have heard sharings from other people regarding their experience, but still not know what to expect.
The following will be charted graphs about my personal experience throughout the whole trip.
Crafting my experience
The above is the overall view. I did not craft a sculpture, but a landscape to present my rough sense of space while I toured the room in total darkness. Generally, it felt a little enveloped throughout, except for when we were taking a seat and chatting at the park as well as the interactive part of the tour (where we sat on the virtual boat through the Singapore River), there was motion, there were sounds of the environment and I could really feel that I was outside and feeling the breeze and water on my face
This depicts how I felt when we first got in. It felt really enclosed as though the space was so small. We had to feel the wall and ‘touch’ our way further in the curved path and curved walls. I could see nothing, so I felt like I was walking through a scary deep tunnel
As we travelled deeper, I had a little sense of engulf-ness as I felt myself smaller compared to the space I was being brought into.
We were slow and careful, for there were stairs and uneven ground filled with rocks/pebbles that we normally have at parks. Steps were really scary and I was glad we formed a line and we had people at the front passing down the message where the stairs would start/ end.
This was how I felt as I walked into the rocky uneven ground at the ‘park’. All of us used the white cane to feel for the ground surface and held onto each other for balance as we wobbled our way through the rocky and grass patch towards the benches and the trees.
Shortly after, we were guided to the interactive virtual boat area. This was the highlight and the favourite part of my trip! The ferry was swaying to the waves and sprinkles of water from the side of the ferry could be felt at my face. This evoked picture memory of myself at the Singapore River Clarke Quay area together with the sounds of the environment, the surrounding shops and also The Merlion!
The rest of the experience includes touching a real car, the car plate and passing by the ATM, a market and finally a cafe where we purchased drinks and snacks at the counter. We made use of our sense of touch and smell and hear to help us experience the surroundings. The fruits at the market smelt nice 🙂 This part of the trip did not specially give me a sense of space, besides with no light and no sight, I couldn’t quite grasp space.
Discussions & Take aways 🙂
During the 1-hour long trip in pitch darkness, the group had discussed with the guide several interesting questions especially about the use of other senses:
How do the blind differentiate money?
Much to our surprise, the blind do not exactly rely on the braille on the notes, but instead just compare sizes. Differentiation of coins would be simpler as the new series of coins has differing edges and ridges along it’s side as well as the surface.
How do the blind dream?
For people who are born blind, they do not dream of actual images/ colours. Their dream consists of sounds and they would feel from sense of touch. As for people who have lost their vision, they are capable of dreaming actual images from their memory or blurry images.
Concept of colour to the blind?
People who are born blind cannot imagine or picture colours in their minds, but there is description or meaning of colours that associate with feelings, to help them ‘feel’ colours.