These are a few concepts that range from facial recognition to conveying emotions through colour including an idea to try to simulate the normal flow of conversation.

Here’s a couple of photos I just from a Student Designers event called Business:Designed we started with a blank window window with one word on it such as Transport or Unemployment post-it notes were used to put up ideas then similar ones were grouped together and analysed them so a single one could be chosen and built upon. We then used the business model canvas and customer empathy maps to develop this idea before presenting them at the end of the day.  My groups idea (can’t remember it fully) came from the word ‘Unemployment’ and involved a skill swapping site to help people learn from each other and develop there skill set without having to spend a lot of money. 

After a discussion with a teacher working in a mainstream school, one of the problems she highlighted that I had previously not thought about was the signage around the school and how it was confusing for all people that attended the school not only the children with autism.  Perhaps a new signage system could ease the transition from primary school to secondary by better communicating the layout of the building.

Good little video made by a girl on the Autistic Spectrum within the chosen demographic of my design, some nice wee graphics in their too.

Update. eventually.

Haven’t posted in a good while, which means over the next week I will probably be posting a lot of research and development that I have been working on over the last several months, going right back to initial site visits, things I’ve been watching and reading and concepts.

dressing the marble.

dressing the marble.

Last week I got offered to visit a number of workshops at Camphill, including candle making, felt workshop, woodwork, metal work and sculpture. This gave my a chance to speak to craft masters about how they go about teaching there subject and what alterations with the conventional way of teaching have to be made to accommodate teenagers on the autistic spectrum.

It also gave me a chance to observe a few students and how they learn and interact with others. 

I have taken a lot of notes and will go through them then post bullet points of my main findings with more photos. hf

I have recently made contact with Camphill School Aberdeen.  Camphill offers inclusive, comprehensive and holistic approach to education, care and therapy for 88 pupils with complex special needs ranging from deprivation to autism from the age of 3-19 years.

I was given a tour of one of the sites and shown some of the larger scale craft and building activities undertaken by pupils with the help of staff and companies.  I have also included a picture of the folders used by children with autism to organise their day and feel they have some ownership over it.

Soon I hope to arrange to go back during class time to sit in on some of the craft classes that go on around the various sites. hf 

First draft of proposal for self directed

Masters of own


Inclusion – Education – Improvement – Communication – Interaction – Focus


I intend my design to be educational but also be inviting and accessible to my chosen demographic.  It should attract and hold the attention of the consumer and be able to be used by more than one person at a time.


            The aim of my project will be to design a hands on making activity for teenagers on the ASD spectrum that encourages and can be used as a means of communication between pupils with the a similar disorder and other pupils.


            I have came to this conclusion after looking into the main effects of autism, these are called ‘the triad of impairments’;


Impairment of social interaction.


Impairment of social communication.


Impairment of imagination.


I feel a craft activity would be perfect for encouraging communication because someone with autism thinks in a very concrete and lateral which should be beneficial when having to construct something that would come to a definitive finish.  A building activity will provide a way for pupils to learn to relate and interact with others.  Along with encouraging communication it would also give the pupil opportunities for creativity, self expression and encourage pupils to become ‘masters of own actions’ focusing attention and movement and furthering the ability to apply knowledge in practical/new settings.  This activity will hopefully also provide the pupil with a sense of achievement.


Most of the research will have to be done through observation, websites, forums and ethnography.  Building an understanding of the intended consumers behavior and traits will be even more essential than normal. hf 

The start of forth year

I am now at the start of forth year (well, week 3).  For this year we have to write our own brief for a self directed project that will last for the rest of our time at Uni and we are also doing an RSA project.

For the self directed project I am interested in working with teenagers in academy that have been diagnosed with being autistic and helping them communicate and interact with fellow pupils through a craft or hands on making task.

For the RSA I have narrowed it down to two of the briefs (I decided against my initial choice ‘In the Round’ because it seemed too close to my self-directed. I will either do;

Something for everyone, which aims to ease the isolation and lonliness of older people by uniting them with people of different generations through shared interests or needs.


Shared Assets - Which asks the designer to design a product or service that gets better or more useful the more people use it, so that sharing it becomes more attractive or viable.

At the moment I’m leaning towards the shared assets brief as it is an interesting idea that seems to be growing at the moment with one of the only things holding it back being the risk and danger of lending your personal belongings or knowledge to someone you have previously not known. hf