Christopher Downey, AIA, is an architect, planner and consultant who lost all sight in 2008. Today, he is dedicated to creating more helpful and enriching environments for the blind and visually impaired.
Chris consults on design for the blind and visually impaired, encompassing specialized centers as well as facilities serving the broader public. His work includes a new Department of Veterans Affairs blind rehabilitation center, the new Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco and renovations of housing for the blind in New York City.
As one of the few practicing blind architects in the world, Chris has been featured in local, national and international media stories and speaks regularly about architecture and visual impairment. He also teaches accessibility and universal design at UC Berkeley and serves on the Board of Directors for the Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco.
He starts each day rowing with the East Bay Rowing Club on the Oakland Estuary before commuting on public transit to his office in San Francisco. To learn more about Chris Downey, visit www.arch4blind.com.
Some of Chris’ accomplishments include:
- Chris’ TED talk, “Design with the Blind in Mind,” has been viewed nearly 900,000 times
- Teaches accessibility and Universal Design at University of California at Berkley
- At the request of Governor Jerry Brown, currently serves on the California Commission on Disability Access
- Serves as President of San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind Board
- Featured in numerous media stories, most recently, CBS Evening News
- Begins every day rowing and training with his competitive crew team on Oakland Estuary before hopping onto a bus or BART train to work