The Mind-Fold Series
In an attempt to initiate mindfulness through an interactive and sensorial experience using colour and play, The Mind-Fold Series is a set of six hand crafted self-regulation toys that function as alternate, custom controllers for virtual environments.
Classroom Project developed for Major Studio 2 at Parsons
Duration: 8 weeks (Mar - Apr 2022)
The project began after brainstorming the term augmentation. I defined it as:
Augmentation is the advancement or enhancement of an experience, capability or comprehension.
This led to me focusing on aspects such as colour, perception and the sensory. I started questioning if colour could help...
I began looking at toys, objects and games and wanted to use colour for visual harmony, mood and as a system for detection.
My research areas included:
- light & colour (the science)
- colour associations & culture
- colour therapy
- chakras & breathing exercises
- human design
- designing for anxiety
- rumination and HSP (highly sensitive person)
I work on a series of low-fidelity and experimental prototypes, each exploring a different aspect or modality of colour. This rapid prototyping exercise allowed me to answer questions regarding my research topic and ask new ones through observation, reflection, synthesis, curation and documentation. These addressed the following aspects:
During user test sessions, testers naturally gravitated towards playing with the origami paper prototypes. I decided to use this fidgeting and play to create folded paper toys.
The final series of prototypes was envisioned to be a balance between the digital and physical, imbuing users with a sense of awe and calm in an attempt to visually destress. The final series is, therefore, both playful and helpful. Each prototype serves as a portable physical toy on its own, but also as controllers to interact with 3-dimensional objects in a virtual space.
Since people encounter products and react differently based on the context, environment, time of day and mood, I decided to create a series or range of toys instead of concentrating on a single prototype.
I needed to consider the where, what, why, how the user encountered The Mind-Fold Series such as defining the setting and design affordances for them to successfully engage with the them. I sketched various scenarios on index cards and listed their purpose and form. Considering scale and for ease of use, I envisioned the series to be portable fidget toys, with the option of using them as alternate controllers.