Challenge

A famous quote goes “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism”. This emphasizes that there is great diversity within the autism spectrum and that individuality in design is of high importance. A commonality, however, is that people on the autism spectrum often rely on structures, routines, and predictability to help cope with everyday life. Changes in routines can cause autistic people a lot of stress and make them anxious and upset. The goal of this project was to design a product that could help them plan their day and accommodate sudden deviations and alleviate some of the stress experienced.

Concept

ivy. is a sensorial routine planning tool that allows kids on the autism spectrum to plan their day by creating a ‘melody of the day’. This melody is built from different textured and colored pebbles that each has a unique sound. The child assigns each task or transition to individually chosen pebbles and places them on the timeline. This creates a melody of the day, that is then stored in the companion, called ivy. When squeezing ivy during the day, the melody is played as a reassurance to calm you down and as a reminder of what is planned ahead.

Timeline: 2-week ‘Sound Design Project’ at Umeå Institute of Design (February, 2020)

Team: Christina Bauer, Emil Kongsgaard Guldager, Katharina Brunner & Rafaela Stilner

My role: In charge of the technical aspects of the product and the prototypes. Developing a sound family and a visual identity. Filming and editing of the product video. 

Tools: Arduino(C/C++), Adobe (Audition, Premiere Pro, After Effects), Massive, Piano

Methods: Sound Design, Storytelling, Lo-fi & Hi-fi prototyping, Multi-sensory design, Inclusive design

Play Video

Process



Get a glimpse into the team and process behind the development of ivy.

After having researched and gained some initial insights into the topic of autism, we went out and interviewed different people who has autism close to their heart. A psychologist, a teacher and a foster mom were some of the people we interviewed to gain an even deeper understanding of some of the problems these kids face on a daily basis. Below, I have put some interesting quotes from the interviews, that help highlight some of the challenge which kids within the autism spectrum face on a daily basis.

This shows examples of how the planning is currently done. Simple illustrations cut out on a blank piece of paper. Activities are then put in order and the schedule often left at home.

Key values

Based on our insights from our research and interviews, we decided that the ideation should revolve around implementing the following four key values: 

individuality, anticipate activities, soothing melodies and sensorial exploration. 

The result was ivy. – an interactive routine planning tool for kids with autism, that enhances parent-child communication and embraces flexibility and individuality.

How can we visualize

time differently?

… by creating the

melody of the day

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Other projects

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