On St. Patrick’s Day in 2008, Chris Downey, an architect, planner and consultant who lives in Piedmont, California, some 10 miles east of San Francisco, reported to the hospital for surgery to remove a brain tumor. The procedure was a success. But two days later, his sight started to fail. On the third day, it was gone.
Remarkably, Downey managed to get back to work within months — and, he says, he never once thought of giving up his work in architecture. In his current role, as a consultant to architectural practices in San Francisco and beyond, he commutes to the city via public transportation four days a week. On the fifth day, he heads to UC Berkeley, where he teaches accessibility and universal design.
It’s a remarkable story, but Downey, who talked about the challenges of navigating through cities in his inspiring and funny TED Talk (the guy’s…
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