Posted by: PatrickJL | October 1, 2010

The Blind Architect.

I read a brilliant article from The Atlantic about how an architect who lost his vision from a tumor continues to practice.  Chris Downey, was working in San Fransisco when he noticed his vision started to blur.  Five days later, everything went black.  A tumor wrapped around his optic nerve caused the sudden blindness.  He tried to go back to work but couldn’t use any of the design software and couldn’t read any drawings.  He intended to speak to his boss to discuss how he could help when he heard her footsteps coming towards him.

He found himself in the pool of unemployed architects, all suffering from the economic crisis, except that he had one major disadvantage.  Before Downey lost his job, he found a blind computer scientist who had devised a way to print online maps through a tactile printer.  This would allow Downey to print plans in braille.  He was hired as a consultant for SmithGroup where he gives recommendations on a rehabilitation center for the blind.

Chris Downey is an inspiration.  Talk about someone who could’ve easily given up after he lost his job but decided not to just fade away but to turn that disadvantage in to something that sets him apart from the rest of his competition.


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