KonneKt: A Social Game For Isolated Children In The Hospital

Opportunity

During their treatment, many child cancer patients are isolated for medical reasons. During this period, they often feel quite well, and are very willing to play and to make contact with peers, but because they are not allowed to leave their rooms, they have no way to do so. Direct contact and play with peers is crucial for normal social development, but in some cases, isolation can take up to 4 months, which roughly disrupts this normal social development.

The goal of this project was to support normal social development of isolated children by empowering them to connect with their peers in the hospital in a very direct (face to face) way.

Impact

Multiple iterations of KonneKt were tested at child hospitals to analyze the impact and effect of KonneKt. I could tell you that KonneKt works very well, but everybody says that about his/her project, so I prefer to show you. For that, I would like to refer to the added movie (at 1m14s). In the movie you see two girls engaging in social play in a situation where that would not be possible (or probable) without KonneKt. KonneKt transforms the glass from a barrier into a medium for interaction. During the tests, children between 2 years old and 15 years old played with KonneKt.

In the observations, I learned that individual play with KonneKt attracts other children to play, so when isolated children are building something on their window on their own, their play can easily transform into social play when children join on the other side of the glass. The ambiguous, modular and open character of KonneKt makes it interesting for different kinds of children. The two girls in the movie are using KonneKt for ‘adventurous’ play, and the boy on the background is tinkering!

Because the production costs of KonneKt are low, realization of KonneKt is very feasible.

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9 Handy Kitchen Tools Inside a Wine Bottle Sized Container

For those of us with small kitchens and big dreams, the Akebono All-in-One Kitchen Tool Set is pure serendipity. The set boasts nine handy tools including a funnel, flower vase, lemon squeezer, spice grater, boiled egg dicer, cheese grater, lid opener, egg separator and a 420 ml measuring cup, leaving a footprint no larger than a wine bottle. The set is part of the MoMA Design Store’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection.

images via Deputi-Japan

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Playing With Senses: Perceptible chess game

 

What makes a toy a good toy? Room for sensory discovery, imagination and creativity. Research that Makiko Shinoda has done on the relationship between children and their toys shows that these elements are not found as often in plastic toys or computer games in which form and function are standardized. But there is a different way. A universal toy set that evolves over time and with a child’s age. While toddlers can use the set as building blocks, older children can play chess with it. A game of chess as a metaphor in which generations, cultures, ethnicities can meet. The pieces in the game do not look like chess pieces; they vary in weight, smell, material, form and texture and this allows the players to mould the game in whichever way they choose. A toy for a lifetime.

The 3D Printer That Can Build a House

The University of Southern California is testing a giant 3D printer that could be used to build a whole house in under 24 hours.

Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis has designed the giant robot that replaces construction workers with a nozzle on a gantry, this squirts out concrete and can quickly build a home according to a computer pattern. It is “basically scaling up 3D printing to the scale of building,” says Khoshnevis. The technology, known as Contour Crafting, could revolutionise the construction industry.

The affordable home?

Contour Crafting could slash the cost of home-owning, making it possible for millions of displaced people to get on the property ladder. It could even be used in disaster relief areas to build emergency and replacement housing.  For example, after an event such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, which has displaced almost 600,000 people, Contour Crafting could be used to build replacement homes quickly.

It could be used to create high-quality shelter for people currently living in desperate conditions. “At the dawn of the 21st century [slums] are the condition of shelter for nearly one billion people in our world,” says Khoshnevis, “These buildings are breeding grounds for disease a problem of conventional construction which is slow, labour intensive and inefficient.”

As Khoshnevis points out, if you look around you pretty much everything is made automatically these days –

your shoes, your clothes, home appliances, your car. The only thing that is still built by hand are these buildings.

How does Contour Crafting work?

The Contour Crafting system is a robot that by automates age-old tools normally used by hand. These are wielded by a robotic gantry that builds a three-dimensional object.

Ultimately it would work like this,” says Brad Lemley from Discover Magazine. “On a cleared and leveled site, workers would lay down two rails a few feet further apart than the eventual building’s width and a computer-controlled contour crafter would take over from there. A gantry-type crane with a hanging nozzle and a components-placing arm would travel along the rails. The nozzle would spit out concrete in layers to create hollow walls, and then fill in the walls with additional concrete… humans would hang doors and insert windows.

This technology is like a rock that we have rolled to the top of a cliff, just one little push and the idea will roll along on its own.

– Khoshnevis told Discover Magazine