When I first entered the dark room, I felt very anxious. I was paranoid I would get lost (even though I wasn’t the last person). I didn’t feel like myself and was not comfortable at all but I knew it would just be a 1 hour walk so just tahan a bit la.
Throughout the walk I thought about how difficult it was. We were placed in the shoes of the blind, but within a safe confined, air-conditioned room. When crossing the ‘road’, there weren’t actual cars. The boat on water wasn’t real too (at least I don’t think it was real). When going into the city area, the noise of traffic was loud and intimidating. But despite the fact that I knew I won’t get knocked down by a speeding car, fall into water, or get hit by a cyclist; I was still paranoid. And I could not even imagine how the blind feel.
I realised when I was inside, I was really dependent on the people in front of me. You could say I was blindly following my classmates and the walls. I had to heavily rely on my sense of hearing and touch, both of which I take for granted.
Having gone through role playing as designers, we can further understand what the disadvantaged in the society needs. As a designer who is aware and less ignorant, our focus can be shifted more towards the disadvantaged in society. Role playing is a great design research technique as it exposes situations to designers first hand.
From this experience and the lessons I take away from Dialogue in the Dark, I can actually tweak my designs into something more socially inclusive. For example, having pop up typography/designs so that the blind can also read and appreciate my work. Something else to consider: How a simple everyday item that we take for granted, such as a poster, does not benefit the blind. Having gone through this experience ourselves, as designers, we can now tweak our designs into something that can be used and appreciated by everyone.