KPG Architects

KPG Architects experience vision simulation goggles and practice using white canes for orientation and mobility before their guided walk.

The Lighthouse was visited on October 29th by a group of Redmond architects. The group is involved with KPG, an interdisciplinary design firm specializing in Architecture, Engineering, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Design in the Puget Sound.  Currently, they are working with the City of Redmond on the Cleveland Streetscape project located in the heart of Redmond’s downtown. Construction of the project is slated to begin in summer of 2013.

KPG is under contract with the City of Redmond to design an urban corridor that will be user friendly to residents and commuters alike, and help create a vibrant city center for their downtown and their future downtown park.  Cleveland Street will be raised to be flush with the sidewalks to create a plaza-like space without curbs, and  meet the needs of events, concerts, farmer’s markets, and other activities located within the City’s future park.  This out of the box design approach needs to meet the safety needs of both vehicles and pedestrians alike, including visually impaired people.  KPG contacted The Lighthouse after hearing of their great work with the City of Seattle and to provide the team with practical knowledge and design insight.

The team’s visit was facilitated by Orientation and Mobility staff David Miller and Meg Johnson.  After a presentation of various visual impairments and white cane use, the group was invited to use vision simulation goggles and white canes along a walking course from Seattle Lighthouse to the Mount Baker light rail station.  Each person wearing simulation goggles was paired with a sighted guide.

Brief stops were made along the walk to discuss the street design in relation to visual impairment, along with various methods to enhance safety and accessibility of road crossings and transit centers. After a ride on the light rail from Mount Baker into downtown Seattle, the group further studied the Seattle Bus Tunnel and it’s use of textured stonework as key indicators for white cane users.

The team present for last week’s field trip included:

Sessyle Asato, KPG Project Manager

Brianne Ross, KPG Project Engineer

Liz Gibson, KPG Senior Landscape Architect/Urban Design

Phuong Nguyen, KPG Urban Designer

Lisa Singer, City of Redmond Project Manager

Rob Crittenden, City of Redmond Traffic Operations Manager

Jeff Palmer, City of Redmond Neighborhood Traffic Calming Coordinator