Photo of Chris Downey walking down California Street in San Francisco, CA.

courtesy of Rosa Downey

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 ranges from a new Department of Veterans Affairs blind rehabilitation center, to renovations of housing for the blind in New York City, and to the new Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco.

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.