〈FabBiotope〉 is a project to increase the number of people with low vision and engineers who can live independently through the distribution of knowledge centered on methodology. Shimakage’s father’s dyslexia led him and his friends to invent OTON GLASS, a pair of glasses that reads aloud the letters for the user, and FabBiotope was developed from that work. The project’s participants — a person with low vision and an engineer — are invited to stand on the same horizontal plane as the “party involved and the creator”. By doing so, they approach the problems of welfare dependency and disparity in information technology, and dream of a society where individuality and diversity, which have been difficult to truly exist until now, can exist as they are.
In this project, we collaborate with people with low vision who have established their own way of life through their ingenuity, so we can distribute knowledge centred on their methodology in the form of books and workshops to people with low vision who have a similar sense of challenge. Similarly with engineers, they collaborate mainly with media artists and information engineering researchers so they can distribute a model to shape information technology as the “party involved”.
Furthermore, based on the relationships forged in the process of these practices, the project plans to develop an activity in which people with low vision and engineers collaborate to practice inventions, and distribute the knowledge that is born there.
The community created by these activities can be deemed a society in which new individuality and diversity can exist, and this project continues to work on creating this alternative society.
The problem of diversity is a complex social issue, and this is why we need to tackle it in a very personal way. On the premise of the democratization of information technology, we will once again question its purpose. The individual behavior of creative people with low vision and engineers shall be taken as one answer, and edited and distributed in books and other media through the art of design research. Based on the premise that the image of the human being itself is defined by the media, this project emphasizes the practicality of trial and error in which individuals reclaim the image of the human being by levereaging old and new media.
Keisuke is an entrepreneur. After understanding the challenges around his father’s dyslexia, he and his friends invented OTON GLASS, a pair of glasses that reads words out loud for the wearer of the glasses. He is involved in FabBiotope, a project which works with engineers and people with low vision to help people with low vision live their lives more independently. His recent publications include “FabBiotope 1.0→2.0” and “Prototyping with OTON GLASS” (OTON GLASS Co., Ltd., 2021).