"SEQUENCING AN ACTIVITY OFTEN RELIED ON SOMEONE TO HELP BREAK DOWN TASKS INTO MANAGEABLE PARTS AS I STRUGGLED TO ACCOMPLISH THEM ON MY OWN. A DAY WAS A BATTLE, WHETHER IT WAS GETTING DRESSED OR DEALING WITH CLASSMATES AT SCHOOL."
This game addresses the need for children to learn buttoning in order to avoid embarrassment later on in life, by using a training device to build confidence and a greater sense of dignity. The concept takes the form of a construction game with inter-connecting tessellating shapes to allow children to build structures whilst developing gross fine motor skills.
Made from 5mm thick wool felt the facets can be folded and shaped, they are smooth, child friendly and come in a range of colours. Elasticised button fixtures are used to connect multiple pieces together with ease.
To test the game I ran small focus groups with children between the ages of 3-7. This consisted of a demonstration of the game, how it works and encourage the children to experiment and play with the button fixtures and felt facets. the response was very posititve with children swarming around to build imaginary structures. This was encouraging and great to see how easily it was adopted.
By spending time with the children, observing how they interact with the elasticised buttons, the variation in size and shape of button hole and felt facets, the concept could be refined. Testing these small but significant interactions with users was essential in highlighting what worked and what didn't; some holes were too tight for younger hands whilst others requested greater variation of texture and materials.
A construction game offering children the chance to build from their imagination (effectively swapping between both side of the brain, strengthening neural pathways and increasing their capacity to learn) whilst developing valuable motor skills. The elasticised buttons are easy for young children to manipulate allowing multiple felt facets to be joined together with ease. The game works to bring to life a child's fantasies by encouraging them to build anything from an Optimus Prime Autobot costume to a lion, wizard or full-scale fort whilst learning and overcoming life's simple dressing challenges.
These interventions are driven by detail and an appreciation of situation in response to embarrassing awkward feelings people experience due to the hindrance of a condition. They are a manifestation of a situation we might all face in some way at some point in time, the difference being these problems are more acute for Hemiplegics.
They are a demonstration of the application of design thinking on un-explored areas of people lives. Throughout the research there have been many other opportunities identified where the same value could be added. The intervention enables a behaviour making it easier to do things we all perhaps take for granted, and they remove the opportunity for indignity to arise.
Transformation Game has been exhibited across Europe in some of the worlds most prestigious design shows;
Design & Democracy, The Scottish Parliament.
Design Miami/Basel, Switzerland.
Victoria & Albert Museum,
London Design Festival.
The Lighthouse, Glasgow.
Cite Du Design, France.