In today’s society, students are more technically connected than ever before. Unfortunately these same students are missing out on more meaningful personal interactions, which affects not only their emotional state, but their learning networking capacity. Ripple addresses this by providing a sense of ambient connection, and a new avenue for students to interact with their peers. Not only this, but while working from home, they can personalise their environment to suit their needs for study.


The industrial design studio is constantly changing. Over time, industrial design students have had their time in the studio decreasing. This is happening while all students are experiencing an increasing shift to working and studying from home.
However, what is generally not considered is the impact that this change has on industrial design students’ learning experience, both directly and indirectly.

The research done for this project explored the different factors that can impact on industrial design students’ learning experiences. Although the design studio has long been the standard form of pedagogy for industrial design education, the expansion of higher education in recent times has been changing the nature of the design studio. Research into this topic is fairly limited, however the literature that is available generally agrees that due to the changing nature of the studios, the studios as they are now are actually negatively impacting on the students involved. The research was used to identify possible opportunities for the development of a product that can be used to enhance the industrial design learning experience.

Ripple in context
Ripple is a piece of the solution. While the form depicts an elegant playfulness that design students may appreciate, the functions allow for students to feel an ambient connection to their peers, while also enhancing their study environment through colour, light, and sound. This is backed up by research, reinforcing that changes in light brightness, colour, or contrast can create various feelings for users, allowing them to customise the environment for their needs.

The light reflected through the water also creates organic visual effects on the wall or ceiling, providing visual stimulation for students. This is another factor that is linked to boosting creativity, and can therefore be helpful for industrial design students.
App screens
Using Ripple’s accompanying app, Wave, students will first sign in and connect to their class, and can then choose different settings to customise their workspace. They can choose their desired mood or mindset – for example they may wish to feel more calm – and the Ripple lamp will output that colour of light – in this case green light is helpful for promoting a calming feeling. The student can also choose an ambient sound as background noise, or their own music if they wish.

When another student in the class activates their lamp to start their work from home, it will send a ‘ripple’ signal to the other students’ activated lamps, which will then softly notify the student that someone else has started working. This enhances the connection students feel to each other, while reducing feelings of loneliness which are associated with working from home.
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Maddy Plant

Throughout her years at uni, Maddy has learnt to create intuitive designs for use in multiple contexts and for different people. She has proactively engaged in her course, and is looking forward to being able to apply those skills to the real world, while also still learning and improving her industry knowledge.