Industrial - Bachelors
The Nature Beat playset was designed to provide small groups of school children an opportunity to build interpersonal relationships through play. The playset consists of a rabbit and a wearable headset. The rabbit contains a BLE beacon that activates a heartbeat sound and haptic feedback within the headset through proximity detection.
The research for this project focussed on how to build empathy among young children. The concept was to create an immersive experience that provided a connection to nature while encouraging interpersonal communication and relationship building. The following solution to this endeavour incorporates empathy building cues such as felt connection between the rabbit and the headset wearer. Verbal communication between participants, through guiding the wearer towards the rabbit the secondary participant is required to role take the position of the sensory deprived wearer and provide valuable directions to ensure success. This provides each participant the feeling of connection to each other. As each participant is able to undertake each role within the use of the playset a sense of reciprocity and sharing should develop and provide an inclusive experience. These empathy building cues are not required to be explained explicitly, as using the play-set, these cues become implicitly felt experiences. This should provide a fun way to build empathy within social relationships, with the added sense of self achievement from successfully locating the rabbit through communication both verbally and sensory.
With an eagerness to continue to grow professionally and personally through a commitment to learning and discovery, Stewart Fleming has a goal to become a designer that can provide life enhancing solutions that are fun, engaging and provide positive experiences to the humans that use them.