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Active Seating

Active Seating

This seating was designed for elementary students with mild ADHD. Offering a way to focus while giving the user a way to channel their excess energy, this is meant to be a creative outlet for when the student needs a break from school work.  It can be constructed or deconstructed by the student as needed, and is a comfortable, customizable space for an individual. This concept was completed along with my project partner, Rawan Hassan.

To get an idea of what we were designing for, we put together a set of cultural probes for the students we had been assigned to design for. This part was done with a third group member, who later branched off for her own project. The cultural probe contained various activities to see how the students responded to various prompts relating to their ability to focus, and how they channel their surplus energy. When we received the cultural probes back, we took note of what was interacted with the most, and what was ignored.

To start ideating, we first made a mind map to help us brainstorm and decide on plausible directions. We then came up with various concepts, and made some rough 3D prototypes using textiles. This included a foam block as a seat, which we found encouraged seated movement without being audibly distracting.

We continued with the seat concept, since this was meant to be something the students could use in class - we decided this was the best way to integrate it into the majority of their day at school. We adjusted it to fit in with their pre-existing seating, and considered how we could also integrate other features to help them channel their energy - such as something to contain an activity book.

As we combined the aspects of active seating and energy-consuming activities, we adjusted the form of the seat, to let the seat and the activities become a single experience. This took the form of a partition-like piece of canvas that could be drawn on, with the option of iron-on decals, that could help the student focus themselves, and turn their active minds to a creative outlet.

To make it easier for a user to put up the partition, we adjusted how the partition would be kept up. In the new set up, the user just needs to slide wooden dowels into place, or remove them and roll up the canvas when they are done.

The final concept includes a seat cushion, an interactive canvas partition, and an activity book, all aiming to help the students turn their active minds and bodies towards a creative outlet. The cushion itself is a layer of foam padding with a spring supported board underneath, suggesting a playful bounce. The back pocket containing the activity book contains interactive, tactile boards to experiment with. The canvas cover goes over the student’s head, and is held in place with wooden dowels and small pockets. The user can customize this space, and when not in use, the canvas cover can be rolled up, and is held together with hook-and-loop straps.