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Visiting a conference

At the end exhibition at AHO the 13 of june, this project was awarded with a price for best Universal Design. The price was handed out of ITFunk, and included the trip to Kristiansand, hotel and participation on an international conference on Universal Design.

pres.JPG The conferance t4p (technology for participation) was held in Kristiansand the 25-27 of june. even if the reward itself came with quite short notice, in the middle of the vacation, I am glad me and Sniff packed a bag and jumped on the train to Kristiansand. I brought the presentation material used at the exhibition and got a lot of good feedback on the design. I also met some people who might be important in the future for the project.

For the occation I had updated the design on the Emotion Stickers according to the improvements that were mentioned during my visit at Tambartun. I had also prepared a new game, a Melody Game, where the small orange dots (not designed, the Rfid’s are produced like this) activates parts of a song, in this case a common child song. The nodes could be mixed and the task could be to place them in correct order, or you could just explore them with the dogs sniffing and try to get the small melodies to be played on rhythm. I also got people to try the Memory Game and the Stickers placed in a book or at the poster.

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One very important thing that I learned was the neccessity of a volume control. The contrast in background sounds was huge when somebody came strolling alone, perhaps on their way to the toilet, and in the coffée breaks, where a lot of people was mingling around. In the last situation the sound from Sniff was almost not hearable. For the second day I had to drill small holes in the front cover to let more sound out. I would definitely equip Sniff with a pretty wide controllable range in volume.

Generally, I leraned a lot during the conferance. Even though some themes were out of the for me well known discourse in designer environments, it was interesting to meet the somewhat more political parts. And from the feedback I got the impression that a lot of them found a little design in the coffée break amusing. Others were even more interested, I now have a handful of contacts in and outside of Norway who actually seem interested in developing Sniff further. It was also fun to tell people about the process and to explain that I actually built the whole dog from scratch, not just tampered an off-the-shelf technological toy, like somebody thought (even though I dont really understand that, he dosen’t exactly look machine made). The most inspiring was when professionals within the field told me they thought the concepts were “spot on” in stimulation therapy for children with visual impairment. This is definitely going to be continued..

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