My last workshop is all about interactive sensory objects and people with learning disabilities. I am looking forward to it as it hopefully will link in with some of my research as well.
Their project began with the Access to Heritage group in Liverpool and creating a sensory experience in Speak Hall. They embraced all senses, the sensory box creaked like an old door and smelt like the Middle Ages, there was a cushion that told a story when you stroked it.
Their second group was based at MERL and a group form Reading College. They created a mooing boot! This was in response to the fact that MERL involves animals but doesn’t have any. (The mooing boot is still mooing!)
They had to adapt some children’s toys they wanted to work with to work with larger adult fingers.
Their current project is with the Tower Project and the British Museum. They use visual prompts to remind people to use all their senses when they are visiting. These are strips of paper with an eye, nose, mouth, hand and ear on them.
They are developing a set of cartoons to help everyone experience museums like this… Note to self, leave contact details with this group!
At the BM they concentrated on the Enlightenment Gallery, in there you are only allowed to touch the Rosetta Stone replica and the objects on the handling table between certain times. They challenged the group to choose and object, they used the audio guide to help them. The Tower Group has a range of people with disabilities, some of which affect the senses. Each person chose and object and researched it. The BM have linked this research to the objects on their website as well. The research includes all the senses. They came up with the idea of creating speaking labels for the museum, but they would also show images. They then looked at using materials to recreate the objects and looked at the materials used, how they smelt. How the would sound, this was all put into a “box” that on pushing a different button created a different sense. I am going to take a photo as I am finding it quite difficult to describe how amazing this is! Pics to be uploaded later.
There are lots of things to get involved in here! Switch boxes, squishy circuits with conductive playdoh and not so squishy circuits. They have adapted circuits and made them easier for people to use and work out how they would like their box to switch on.
I am actually not sure I am doing this project any justice!