September 4, 2015

Seven Top Picks for Miami’s DWNTWN Art Days on Knight Foundation blog

7. “Listen to This Building” Orientation and Mobility Tours
MCAD is also the site of a unique and exciting exhibition from Knight Arts Challenge winner EXILE Books. “Listen to This Building” is an ongoing, combined effort from MCAD, EXILE and Miami Lighthouse for the Blind that offers new ways of exploring place through tactile and aural tours of Miami architecture. On the exterior stairs of the MCAD building, audio recordings convey stories about the venue’s history, along with tales of neighboring buildings. Inside, there are reliefs of downtown structures with accompanying texts in braille. In addition, students from Florida International University created 3D models that have been placed in opaque boxes, forcing visitors to “feel the building” in order to discover it.

As a special Art Days activity on Sept. 12, the exhibition will include guided Orientation and Mobility tours of the MCAD building – without need for eyesight. Participants will be led through the former U.S. post office and courthouse while blindfolded and using a mobility cane. Tours will run every 30 minutes between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

EXILE Books has also published an architectural heritage book in braille. According to EXILE’s description, “There will be no photographs or printed text in the publication, only tactile reliefs of each building, effectively compelling the viewer to experience Miami through new and distinct paradigms.”

That is, in a sense, what this year’s Art Days is also hoping to deliver –a novel way to experience and get to know our city. A city that seems to be so rapidly changing that it’s hard to keep up on our past, present and future.

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