3DPhotoWorks Brings Great Art To The Blind

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Art belongs to everyone and enlightenment is available to all. Thus we present 3DPhotoWorks, a project that aims to bring the “world’s greatest art” to the blind. The team, led by John Olson wants to convert famous paintings into digitally sculpted objects that blind people can touch and experience.

Olson became a Life Magazine photographer at 21 and in 1968 he shot world-renowned photos of the Tet Offensive. He understood how important visuals were to learning and life and he “wonder what it was like to be blind,” he said.

“I researched the blind community and found an incredible thirst’ for all things visual. Using Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita’s research into neuroplasticity as reference, I developed a means of converting and then digitally sculpting images to provide tactile feedback that blind people repeatedly told him they could ‘see,’” he said.

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