I was introducing some sixth-form students to the process of design where the starting point is the suspension of judgement, the quelling of that nasty, negative inner critic, so that the imagination can pick up an idea, then run riot with it just to see what happens. You know the sort of thing: "Hey, let's put a man on the moon".
It's quite obvious that blind learners have no use for photographs, sketches, diagrams or any other form of image as a visual aid to their understanding. So there's no substitute for the real thing, assuming that it can be brought in. Systems like the human digestive system can be a little tricky in a Biology lesson, for example.
For my lesson, I needed them to think creatively and freely about how hats could be used for more than just a fashion accessory. To stimulate a discussion, I modified one of my own hats, that which you see me wearing in the snapshot above. After examining the attached dangling-funnel-with-drinking-straw for some time, the group of teenagers finally accepted the zany logic behind my invention of a headpiece which would allow the wearer to walk in the rain yet never be thirsty.
I explained some of this lunacy in an e-mail to my writer friend Chris Bernard. He replied, tongue in cheek, with a cautionary note about the risk of drinking fresh rainwater, clearly a growing hazard in our increasingly polluted atmosphere. Fortunately I know a reliable and experienced chemist in Australia who will surely be able to advise me on what modifications I should make. Perhaps he'll suggest an activated charcoal filter, or some chlorine tablets, or both. I don't yet know how to fix my prototype, but I'm sure he will. So hello Lee: can you help me please?