Image Courtesy: Google Doodle
Seiichi Miyake (5 February 1926 – 10 July 1982) was a Japanese engineer and inventor best known for his work on tactile paving. It was to aid the visually impaired at traffic crossings. Miyake’s system of tactile paving was first introduced at a school for the blind in Okayama City on 18 March 1967 and has since been adopted around the world.
Life and Career
Seiichi Miyake was born on 5 February 1926, in Okayama, Japan. After completing his studies in civil engineering at the University of Tokyo, he worked for the Japanese government’s Ministry of Construction, where he was involved in various public works projects.
Miyake’s most significant contribution to society was his invention of the tactile paving system, also known as Tenji blocks or Braille blocks. The inspiration for the system came to him when he saw a visually impaired woman struggling to cross a street in front of his apartment building.
Miyake’s first prototype of the tactile paving system was created in 1965, and it was installed near the Okayama School for the Blind. The system consisted of a series of raised blocks with distinct patterns and textures, which visually impaired people could feel with their feet to navigate their way safely across a street or through a public space.
After the success of his prototype, Miyake continued to refine and improve the tactile paving system, working closely with the Japanese government to promote its use in public spaces throughout the country. Over time, the system became widely adopted and is now a standard feature in many cities and countries around the world.
In addition to his work on the tactile paving system, Miyake also invented a range of other innovative products and technologies. These included an early version of the microwave oven, a hydraulic damper, and a system for automatically controlling traffic signals.
Seiichi Miyake passed away on 10 July 1982, at the age of 56. His legacy lives on through his many inventions, which continue to have a significant impact on the daily lives of people around the world.
Award and Legacy
Seiichi Miyake’s invention of the tactile paving system, also known as Tenji blocks or Braille blocks, has had a profound impact on the lives of visually impaired people all over the world. The system has made it easier and safer for people with visual impairments to navigate public spaces independently and with confidence.
Miyake’s invention has been widely recognized and celebrated for its innovation and social impact. In 1985, he was awarded the Okayama Culture Award, and in 1990, he was given the prestigious Good Design Award from the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization.
Today, Miyake’s legacy lives on through the widespread use of his invention, which has become an essential feature of many public spaces around the world. The tactile paving system has made cities and public spaces more accessible and inclusive, and has helped to improve the quality of life for visually impaired people.
Miyake’s invention has also inspired other designers and inventors to develop new technologies and products that are designed to promote accessibility and inclusion. His work serves as a reminder of the importance of considering the needs of all members of society, including those with disabilities, in the design of public spaces and infrastructure.
On 18 March 2019, Google celebrated Seiichi Miyake with a doodle. Miyake’s system of tactile paving was first introduced at a school for the blind in Okayama City on 18 March 1967 and has since been adopted around the world.Tags: 10 July 1982, 5 February 1926, Google Doodle, Japanese engineer and inventor, Observer Voice Seiichi Miyake, Remembering Seiichi Miyake, Russian, Seiichi Miyake, Seiichi Miyake Birthday, Seiichi Miyake Death anniversary, Seiichi Miyake Observer Voice, tactile paving, Tribute to Seiichi Miyake