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KAFD funds design college dedicated for people with short-sightedness

By Maram Kayed - Aug 20,2020 - Last updated at Aug 20,2020

AMMAN — Raneen Qutub, a student who has received funding from the King Abdullah Fund for Development (KAFD), has envisioned an interior design college dedicated for people with short-sightedness.

Qutub, who received funding from KAFD’s Research and Creativity Support Project for University Students, said that people with short-sightedness “suffer from the lack of places, especially educational institutions, where they can spend long hours and move easily within them”.

The project titled "Vision of the Blind in Interior Design” is to be built at the University of Jordan.

Qutub explained in a video sent to The Jordan Times by KAFD that the college “takes into account a person with short-sightedness’ basic movement needs and provides a vibrant and diverse environment for them to be comfortable in”.

She added: “The initial idea was to create an exceptional design that simulates the element of imagination instead of only the senses.”

Qutub noted that since interior design is concerned with the aesthetics of place, the project is concerned with finding “a new way to perceive beauty through touch and imagination in order to serve people with short-sightedness that are deprived of understanding the place’s aesthetics by sight.”

Qutub’s father, who was born with short-sightedness, was her inspiration. According to Qutub, her father “faced many limitations during his university studies, the most prominent of which was the absence of an educational system based in Braille, in addition to no incubating environment that took into account his other needs”.

She added: “When I conducted a study on the different categories of people with short-sightedness. Among people with complete and partial visually impairments, it was found that most of them do not know Braille, which is central to their education.”

“Braille is needed not only to read books, but also to use specialised equipment such as computers and tools that must be bought in Braille for the project,” noted Qutub.

The King Abdullah II Fund for Development, in cooperation with the King Abdullah II Centre for Design and Development, has provided support for 358 projects that involved 1176 students since 2004.

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