Collaborative Design for Assistive Technology
The presentation will describe the projects that have come from the Developing Assistive Technology class, a combined effort with the graduate students of the Occupational Therapy department and the artists, technologist and designers of the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University. As artists and therapists work together and explore the field of assistive technology design, new products both spirited and therapeutic are created. Several projects will be highlighted to explain the process and end results of the collaboration. One project illustrates the possibility of using new technology to engage a child in open-ended play that doubles as therapy. Another project will describe designing for the limitations of the users while incorporating their existing skills; a wheelchair DJ music system was developed for an eighteen year old boy with cerebral palsy who has an interest in hip-hop culture. The projects from the Developing Assistive Technology class realistically support that multidisciplinary collaboration between designers and therapists is worthwhile. The new products and experiences that are created bring an aesthetic and playfulness that is needed and welcomed in the medical world. Slideshows and videos will be displayed for several projects during the presentation.
Keywords: Assistive Technology, Collaboration, Creativity, Expression, Therapy
Resident Researcher - Assistive Technology, Interactive Telecommunications Program at Tisch School of the Arts