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I-Spot a friendly workplace for the visually impaired

I-Spot is a sustainably sourced teashop that aims to create a friendly workplace for the visually impaired. This project brings social attention to those who live differently and aims to correct misconceptions about them and their capabilities. By integrating disabled people into our everyday lives, we can change the perceptions and see that these people have talents to offer.


People lack an understanding of how visually impaired people live in this complicated world. As a result, a substantial portion of people has negative misconceptions.

In 2009, the employment rate of people with disabilities in the United States was 19.2%, compared to 64.5% for those without a disability.  Partially and fully-blind adults are often passed over when it comes to employment. Employers worry the visually challenged can’t do the work, or that they’ll fall and expose the businesses to liability.  However, these people can do a number of jobs, from office work to handling heavy machinery; often with the help of technology, software, and training geared to their needs.

This project aims at three key points: shifting social bias through job opportunities, creating a workplace where visually impaired employees feel equal, and creating an environment where people can interact with each other reducing social bias.

744 E 3rd St. Art District DTLA


The linear layout follows the idea of fewer barriers, allowing both customers and employees to have better accessibility to experience this space, and each other.


The inside of the tea shop has a modular workstation. There is a single unit, and two units combined to create one double unit. This double configuration can be extended by adding seating in the middle. 

The resulting setup and simplified workplace allow employees to get better workflow control. Different variations can be installed in other places and serve multiple purposes - customization is key.


The linear layout is able to fit various situations such as individual workflow, group work, and communicating with customers. And, specifically, employees with visual impairment can reach any work position and make adjustments easily.


One side of the workstation attaches to the entrance, and the open window allows the employee to take walk-up orders.

A tactile menu is mounted on the side of the window. Customers can submit their orders by pushing the bell to notify the employee of their selection. 


A visual/tactile menu is located on the front counter. Customers, with or without vision problems, can read it for ordering. Behind the counter, braille labels are placed on all equipment, such as tea containers, cups, and dishes, to help employees recognize what they need. Labels combine print with braille, for access to all.


One side of the wall uses natural and recyclable materials with distinctive finishes to create a tactile sensation. Also, acoustic materials are placed in a dimensional way: cardboard tubes on the wall, polyester acoustic panels hanging from the ceiling, and PET acoustic panels attached to the seats. This strategy reduces the indoor noise level to bring less disruption to employees and patrons.

Metal foldable tables are installed on the wall, allowing customers to enjoy their beverages, and are also at wheelchair height for those that need them.

Recyclable PET plastic acoustic Panels

Granite stone

Polyester Acoustic Panels


Cardboard tube


The illuminated tactile pavers navigate customers to tables and restrooms. They also, bring a social awareness to the needs of the visually impaired.

Each seat has an occupied button on the side. The weight of a customer gives pressure to the seat, moving the button into a down position, so employees can read seat occupancy by touching the surface.

Tea tables can be pulled to the side for easy, thorough cleaning.

One spot where everyone is equal.
One spot where everyone can find a place.
One spot where everyone can be embraced...
One spot is I-Spot.

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