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Hailing from the always-colorful and texture-rich Brazil, young architect and designer Humberto da Mata’s inspiration is rooted in the exploration of everyday materials and building layers with excessive texture, leaving the user with a visually and texturally rich experience…but could his ‘textural’ vision extend into recreating ‘vision’ experiences for those with impairments?

While Humberto’s designs are the perfect addition for any post-modernist’s living room, they could take on a second life as functional furniture for those needing tactile surfaces–an often overlooked population.

Take the Hazelwood School for Children and Young People with Sensory Impairment in Glasgow, Scotland for example. The school was built to accomodate many types of children, including those who are visually-impaired. “I had to toss out everything I learned in architecture school in order to build this school” said Alan Dunlop, of Gordon Murray + Alan Dunlop Architects. Different rooms and hallways were built with different surfaces and textures, so that when the children ‘trailed’ (walked with their hands on the walls), they were able to distinguish one part of the school from the next:

It would be great to see Humberto’s playful and bright vision for aiding the furniture design portion of the school (and other schools like it) with age-appropriate textures and colors. Here are some of Humberto’s existing tactile-rich designs:


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.