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16 DECEMBER 2014

Breathing Friend: stress relief ball by Czech industrial design student

Diploma Work created by industrial design student Kateřina Pražáková at the Czech Technical University, Prague in 2014.

"Tento malý přítel je určen jako dárek pro ženy trpící stresem. Může se pro nás stát blízkým tak jako hračka v dětství či pouze nástrojem, který nás nenásilnou formou dokáže uklidnit. Povrch si každý může vytvořit sám podle svých sympatií a tím se stává osobnější. Při uchopení tohoto křehkého dýchajícího stvoření můžeme příjemně relaxovat a na chvíli zapomenout na chaos kolem nás. Díky svojí velikosti jej můžeme mít stále u sebe."

And as translated from Czech to English using Google Translate: "This little friend is designated as gift for women suffering from stress. It may become for us so close like a toy in childhood or just tool that nonviolent us form can soothe. Surface everyone can create by himself their sympathy and becomes personal. In this gripping brittle breathing creature we can relax and moment, forget the chaos around us."

(Kateřina Pražáková, 2014)

[The project set out to address the problem of everyday stress through creating a stress relief ball called Breathing Friend. In doing so various materials were considered because of their significance for the target user group. The project has an anthropomorphistic aspect through its use of subtle vibration and physical warmth.]

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TAGS

2014animal resemblancesanthropomorphismanxietyArduinobioelectronics • Breathing Friend (project) • calming effect • chestnut • Czech Republic • Czech Technical University in Prague • design process • embryo • emotional involvementergonomic designhaptic interface • hemisphere • industrial design • Katerina Prazakova • lifelikemechanical animal • mechanical creature • Miroslav Macik • motherhoodnatural materials • neurohumoral response • palm • pebble • polyurethane foam • product design • psychological distress • psychological perception • purring • selection of materials • siliconesimulation • soothing • stress • stress ball • stress relief • student projectsubstratestoytraumavisceral • wadding • wellbeingwool

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 NOVEMBER 2014

Hogeweyk: Dutch village designed just for people with dementia

"In the small town of Weesp, in Holland – that bastion of social progressivism – at a dementia–focused living center called De Hogeweyk, aka Dementia Village, the relationship between patients and their care is serving as a model for the rest of the world. ... The idea, explains Hogeweyk's creators, is to design a world that maintains as much a resemblance to normal life as possible – without endangering the patients. For example, one common symptom is the urge to roam, often without warning, which had led most 'memory units' and dementia care centres to institute a strict lock–down policy. In one German town, an Alzheimer's care center event set up a fake bus stop to foil wandering residents. At Hogeweyk, the interior of the security perimeter is its own little village – which means that patients can move about as they wish without being in danger.

Each apartment hosts six to eight people, including caretakers – who wear street clothes – and the relationship between the two is unique. Residents help with everything from cooking to cleaning. They can buy whatever they want from the grocery. They can get their hair done or go to a restaurant. It's those basic routines and rituals that can help residents maintain a better quality of living. ...

People with dementia often struggle with unfamiliar spaces, colours, and even decor. At Hogeweyk, apartments are designed to reach familiar cultural touchstones, categorized into six basic 'genres' of design: 'goois' or upperclass (the decor looks old fashioned), homey, Christian, artisan, Indonesian, and cultural. Each apartment is different, catered to a particular lifestyle, right down to the silverware and furniture. 'Living in lifestyles,' explains Hogeweyk, 'just like before.'

Molenaar&Bol&VanDillen, but it was the brainchild of Yvonne van Amerongen, a caregiver who has worked with memory patients for decades. Starting in the early 1990s, van Amerongen and a group of like–minded caregivers began researching and designing a type of home where residents would participate in life, the same way they did before they entered a dementia care unit. ...

What Hogeweyk reveals is the culturally ingrained way we distinguish between those who do and don't suffer from dementia. By treating residents as normal people, Hogeweyk seems to suggest that there isn't such a huge difference, deep down – just differing needs. By designing a city tailored to those unique needs, residents avoid the dehumanisation that long–term medical care can unintentionally cause."

(All–Generations Care Services, 21 June 2014)

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TAGS

2009ageing population • Alzheimers • ambachtelijke style • Amsterdam • artisan lifestyle • care centre • care home • care services • caregiver • Christian lifestyle • cultural lifestyle • day to day life • day to day surroundings • De Hogeweyk • degenerative brain illnesses • dementia • dementia sufferer • Dementia Village • dementiaville • elderly • environmental design • extreme dementia • familiar cues • familiar surroundings • familiarityfictional setting • Goois (upper class) • health and social carehealth care • Hogewey • Hogeweyk • Holland • homey • huiselijke • Indonesian • inhabitants • lifestyleliving togethermodel villageNetherlands • normal society living • nursing home • personal autonomypersonal freedom • personal independence • personal safety • personal wellbeing • pioneering institution • psychological perception • residential home • residents • senior citizen • simulationspatial cuesspatial environmentsThe Truman Show (1998)urban simulationvillage • Weesp • weyk • wijk • Yvonne van Amerongen

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 DECEMBER 2013

User interaction using the Leap Motion Controller

"The Leap Motion Controller senses how you naturally move your hands and lets you use your computer in a whole new way. Point, wave, reach, grab. Pick something up and move it."

(Leap Motion, Inc)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
30 SEPTEMBER 2013

Technology is not neutral, it embodies values...

"What all of this means is that technology is not neutral. It embodies values, both in how it is constructed and in the decision to deploy it. As such, it refers to its history of use and the practices that surround it. The observation that 'the computer is just a tool' is missing the point. It is a tool with a point of view and with the ability to change user behavior and our expectations of information. Additionally, as technology becomes more immersive–exists more as a convincing simulation of some reality it is no longer a tool or a medium in the same sense as pen and ink. It represents its own world, one with implicit and explicit rules, communities of practice, and transformative power over what and how things mean. The technological responsibility of the graphic designer is therefore not simply to master software programs, but to understand the technological context as enabling or constraining cognitive and social behaviors that have a direct impact on the success of communication."

(Meredith Davis, p.92)

Davis, M. (2012). "Graphic Design Theory", Thames & Hudson.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
04 JUNE 2013

The Senster: pioneering cybernetic sculpture

"The Senster, commissioned by the electronics giant, Philips, for their permanent showplace, the Evoluon, in Eindhoven, was a much bigger and more ambitious piece of work than SAM. In addition to responding to people's voices, the Senster also responded to their movements, which it detected by means of radar, and was (as far as I know) the first robotic sculpture to be controlled by a computer. It was unveiled in 1970 and remained on permanent show until 1974 when it was dismantled.

Its size – it was over 15 feet (4 m) long and could reach as high into the air – made the use of aluminium castings inappropriate, so it was welded out of steel tubing, with the castings employed only in the more intricate microphone positioning mechanism. Its behaviour, controlled by a computer, was much more subtle than SAM's but still fairly simple. The microphones would locate the direction of any predominant sound and home in on it, rather like SAM but much more efficiently, and the rest of the structure would follow them in stages if the sound persisted. Sudden movements or loud noises would make it shy away. The complicated acoustics of the hall and the completely unpredictable behaviour of the public made the Senster's movements seem a lot more sophisticated than they actually were. It soon became obvious that it was that behaviour and not anything in its appearance which was responsble for the impact which the Senster undoubtedly had on the audience."

(Aleksandar Zivanovic)

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TAGS

1970acousticsart + technologyartificial intelligenceartificial life • audio activated • audio controlledautomata • computer controlled • computer historycomputer sculpturecybernetic art • cybernetic sculpture • Cybernetic Serendipitycybernetics • direction detection • Edward Ihnatowicz • Eindhoven • futuristic machineshanging mobileinteractive artinteractive toykinetic artkinetic sculpturemechanical beingmechanismmovementPhilipsradarrobotroboticrobotic sculpturerobotics • SAM (Sound Activated Mobile) • sculptureshow (spectacle)simulation • sound activated • sound sculpturespeculative design • The Senster • wonderment

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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