Government Room Rendering with Tables.jpg

Model Exhibition



Kathryn Riley [IS], Morgan Mitchell [IS], Emily Datsko [VC], & Eric Friday [ID]



The Ohio State School for the Blind has a collection of tactile learning models, including but not limited to, architectural models, maps and globes, transportation models, bridges, and other teaching aids. Tactile learning models help the students understand concepts that are normally explained visually. These models are currently underutilized as they are housed in a disorganized room in the basement that is difficult to navigate. 



  • Models are underutilized as they are inaccessible.

  • A model requires multiple people for transportation.  

  • An organized storage and cataloging system is needed.

  • Models require maintenance, but non-professional restoration loses tactile quality.

  • Students need background information prior to interacting with the models in order to fully comprehend what they are touching. 



The United States Government Room has four permanent model displays: The National Capitol building, the Ohio State Capitol building, the Washington Monument, and the White House. The yellow color blocking on the floor serves as a wayfinding tool by signifying the presence of each pedestal. The textured, yellow stripe can be followed around the room to locate interactive activities. 



The Storage and Display Room houses the majority of the models. The floorless mobile shelving system maximizes the amount of storage by eliminating floor space between units. The models are systematically assigned a shelf location and can be found by using the catalog or wall map. The interactive world map is provided to help students understand the geographical context of the models. 



To aid in the transportation and mobility of the models, the pedestal has four wheels. The pedestal’s surface has raised bumps that help the models to be easily transferred from the storage shelves to the pedestal and vice versa. The educational plaques are inset into the pedestal with a semi-circle notch that allows the plaques to be easily and frequently interchanged. 


Each model has four educational plaques that include information about its history, physical description, materiality, environmental aromas, and fun facts. The plaques are made accessible to students with both large, san serif text and braille. A QR code allows students to quickly access audio descriptions on the exhibition’s app. A 3D printed replica of the model helps students to understand the model at a smaller scale. 



The mobile app houses a full catalog and inventory of the tactile models, in addition to audio and large format text descriptions, geographical context, and interactive games that facilitate learning.