I chose to do this project, because I am interested healthcare. I would like to improve the way of life and I think the project Healing Environments fits exactly in that idea.
I worked in a project group of four students. In the first weeks of this study, I had to get used to this new way of working in a project group. It was hard to compare all the ideas and to decide which ideas fitted to the direction we were searching for. The most difficult part was that we did not take decisions fast enough, because we were kind of afraid to lose other ideas. In that period, we learned to be more specific, for example in user choice. After we focused on one aspect, we all moved in kind of the same direction and we made progress.
In the beginning of the project we chose to focus on the village Providentia. This is a village, set up by Kempenhaeghe, an institute for people with epilepsy. Now, patients live there in 24-7 healthcare because of their mental disabilities. In the future not-patients are also going to live in this village, together with these patients.
In this project, Healing Environments, we were asked to design something to improve the environment we were living in, in the widest sense of the word. We were so interested in the idea of Providentia, because it was trying to create a more natural bonding between patients and not-patients which contributes to a healthier life. We decided that this interest would become our goal. We wanted to create a concept for a common place to reach that bonding.
We did a lot of brainstorming and we integrated feedback which we received on the demo day and during a meeting in which we got to know the users better.
Drop-up became our final concept.
Drop-up are five drops placed in the center of the village. When people come close to the drops, the drops will interact with them. They will go up and down and they will change color, and these activities all depend on the movement of persons around the drops. So, the visitors can interact with the drops, but they can also interact with each other. This is the way we want to create a more natural bonding between the habitants of the village, so the patients and the not-patients.
Drop-up will be an interesting common area and it is based on a natural activity, because you only have to be there and a drop will interact. Moreover, it is no obligation and everybody can participate.
We realized this concept in a working prototype for the final demo day.
One of the most important things I learned is too be more specific during the idea generation and taking decisions faster. I got a lot more insight in the use of materials during the realization of the prototype and in the way the system is influenced by materials. Finally, I learned about the relation between User Focus and Perspective and Descriptive and Mathematical modelling (see DMM).
Click here for the total project report.