Product and Interaction Design project, 2016 – 2018


G A I A

by Federica Delprino, Giovanni Filaferro, Michele Gennaioli, Maristella Matera, Giuseppe Manzi, Valentina Menabue
2018 – 2019

Collaboration with Advanced User Interfaces course (Politecnico di Milano)
Computer Science DEIB Department in Polimi and Human Computer Interaction Department Bozen University (Rosella Gennari, Alessandra Melonio, Eftychia Roumelioti)

Publications:

“Interactive Nature: using tangibles for nature exploration by children”
for Outdoor Play Design, Intl. Workshop on Designing for Outdoor Playing at CHI’19, 2nd February 2019

“Interactive Nature: Designing Smart Devices for Nature Exploration by Children”
accepted to CHI2019

GAIA has been created to push kids’ social skills; it can be installed outdoors on top of outdoor elements (trees, street lamps in parks,..). Like ABBOT, also GAIA has got no displays.

The model consists of a band with four bright buttons and two speakers. Sounds and lights are meant to attract children. When buttons are touched, GAIA tells stories that guide all children in a treasure hunt asking them to look for nature elements (a specific plant species, an animal). While solving the game together, children are led to explore the nature around them.

Even if our main idea is to use GAIA to encourage children to play outside, the interviewed teachers pointed out that, thanks to the multisensory stimuli that the device is able to generate, it can be used also for educative purpose inside schools (like enforcing the relation between mental processes and motoric processes), as well as by healthcare institutions assisting people with disabilities.