2012 Melbourne Design Awards

Key Dates

cBraille - A lighting exhibition for people who are blind [DRAFT]

Image Credit : All photos by Fred Kroh courtesy of Federation Square


Project Overview

Did you know 90% of people who are blind see light?

cBraille is an exhibition to raise awareness about the importance of light for people with vision impairments. Using Dome tipped LEDs as braille, a person who is blind can locate the braille with their eyes and read the tips of the LEDs with their fingers, like regular braille.




Exhibition Design by e2
Branding and Exhibition Flow by e2
Construction by Built
Signage by Signaction
Concept by Rob Caslick

Project Brief

We had two objectives. To raise awareness about the importance of light to people who are blind. To showcase cSigns, a signage system that helps people of all vision types better locate their destination.

Housed in a custom built shipping container designed by e2 and built by Built.

cBraille consists of 14 panels of LED lights arranged in the braille code, each panel uses one LED Light per braille dot and has a quote about light and blindness. “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light” by Helen Keller and “This guy came up to me and asked me how I made love with my wife. So I told him Bring me your wife and I will show you” by Alvaro Vega.

Within the container there are two cSigns. A statutory signage example and a room numbering example.

Within the container there is audio of students from the Royal Institute of Deaf and Blind Children teleschool answering “what does light mean to me?”. An example "Light gives me independence" and "Light in my window means its time to get out of bed"

Project Need

Most people do not realize the importance of light to the vision impaired. cBraille opens up the market to new possibilities of wayfaring signage that can assist people of all vision types better traverse through the public domain.

During the exhibition we were lucky enough to host a young boy and his sister who are both blind. The young boy has complete vision loss in one eye and has minimal light perception in the other eye. Reading the braille with his fingers he moved in closer to the LEDs and was able to read the light with his better eye.

This was completely unexpected. The concept was to use the light to locate the braille, not read the light with your eyes. Photos of the boy attached.

cBraille introduces the practical application, cSigns. Statutory Signage and room numbering that is back lit. The signs use standard braille and are compliant with the current building codes. The signs are designed with the mission to help people find their way around a public space. cSigns can also assist elderly people locate their rooms in aged care facilities.

Design Challenge

One of the biggest challenges was communicating this exhibition to the vision impaired community. You can appreciate that to someone who is blind security is consistency, change brings about new challenges. The thought that I was interfering with the braille code was not initially accepted by the community. The challenge was met by inviting a few well known people within the community through the exhibition and talking through the concept. Once this was done the word was out and now we are installing cSigns within a new development at Vision Australia.


We are using LEDs and have designed the cSign product outer shell with a lifetime warranty. You simply need to replace the LED cartridge every 5 to 10 years. The container itself was an existing structure that we chose to use instead of building a new one.

This award recognises a temporary building or interior. Consideration give to furnishings, fixtures, stands, signage and traffic flow. 

Judging Note : Judging for this category will be finalised on Monday 27th August and Finalists will be announced on Tuesday 28th August.

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