Category Archives: Uncategorized

Aaron McKirdy at CoCA

We have Aaron McKirdy (Chrometoaster / Game of Awesome) coming in on Thursday 6.00-7.00pm, The Pit at Massey University, College of Creative Arts as part of the DINZ Designers Speak.

(It was actually seeing his work at Massey in the 90s that convinced me to study design, for real -KK)

This has been organised by the Student Council.

Behind the Screens event at Xero

Xero is holding a Behind the Screens event at their Wellington office on Thursday 10th May from 5.30-7pm.
This is to give students an insight into how our Marketing and Product design teams work at Xero. They will also discuss the intern and grad opportunities offered at Xero through Summer of Tech and the Xero Grad Programme. As well as giving students from a variety of design schools in the city a chance to socialise together.
Event invite and rsvp form is:

Childhood obesity… Safe Slice kitchenware aims to teach children about portion control

| 3 August 2017 12 comments
With child-obesity rates rising, graduate designer Katrina Steven has developed kitchenware that gets kids safely involved in the food preparation process and teaches them about the size of portions.Safe Slice is Steven‘s graduation project from the University of Dundee. It includes a kit of child-friendly food preparation products that aim to get families working together when making meals.

She embarked on the project as a way of tackling the growing rate of child obesity. In the UK alone, a third of children aged between two and 15 are currently classed as overweight or obese.

“With the global child obesity rate on a rapid incline it is becoming increasingly important for this generation of children to learn the value of health and nutrition,” Steven said.

“Safe Slice is a collection of child friendly food preparation products that aims to encourage and increase children’s participation at family meal times. It creates a simple, safe and appropriate platform to introduce children to basic cooking skills.”

The kit is made up of a child-friendly knife, an interactive chopping board that corresponds to a range of recipes, and a set of cards showing how different ingredients can be prepared.

The knife features a chunky grip, which Steven based on the way professional chefs position their hand.

“This allows greater pressure to be applied on what the user is slicing as the weight and strength comes from the shoulder and not just the wrist making it much easier for children to cut through hard produce,” she said.

Before cutting the food, the child – under adult supervision – choses the corresponding white cutting domes, which determine the width of slice.

These are then placed on top of the board with the ingredient underneath, allowing the knife to slide through the gap and chop the food.

To reduce mess, the chopping board is designed to be placed over the sink. Three bowls, two that display portion size and one for collecting prepared ingredients, enable the child to measure the amount of food they are cutting up.

6 augmented reality apps that aren’t Pokemon GO

From Stuff

In a very short time, Pokemon GO has pushed augmented reality (AR) into the mainstream.

Its ability to overlay digital animations onto the real world using your phone’s camera and screen is unlike any other popular game before it. But Pokemon GO isn’t the only app that seamlessly blends virtual objects into the real world. Here are the best AR apps not linked with Nintendo.

Read full story >

Interactive inspiration: Jonathan Harris

jason ohara

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 4.26.50 pmJonathan Harris is an artist and computer scientist from Vermont.

I find his work very interesting but he regularly falls into the trap of the interface overpowering the content – something I specifically want to avoid. An example is the whale hunt interactive which is extremely clever but I prefer the highlights page from the same interactive

His work is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art, and has been exhibited at Le Centre Pompidou (Paris), the CAFA Art Museum (Beijing), the Barbican Center (London), the Victora and Albert Museum (London), and The Pace Gallery (New York). He studied computer science at Princeton University and spent a year in Italy at Fabrica. The winner of three Webby Awards, Print Magazine named him a “New Visual Artist,” and the World Economic Forum named him a “Young Global Leader.” His TED talks have been viewed millions of times.

His website:

View original post 12 more words

Wayfindr smartphone app for the blind

Another example from the 2016 Interaction awards. This shows design research in action including the use of empathy tools.

Project Description

Wayfindr is the first open standard for audio-based navigation

There are an estimated 285 million vision impaired people worldwide. Sadly, the consequences of sight loss are often poverty, isolation and depression. Of the estimated two million people living with sight loss in the UK, almost half say they would like to leave their home more often.

Overcoming these challenges starts with enabling independent travel, which catalyses both individual and societal change.

The ‘what if’ moment

What if vision impaired people were empowered to navigate independently using the smart phone they already have in their pocket? This was the challenge posed by Royal London Society for Blind People’s (RLSB) Youth Forum to ustwo in 2014.

With limited or no vision, navigating an unfamiliar environment means you are wholly reliant on auditory cues or a sighted guide for directions. Emerging technologies such as smartphones and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons point to a future of independent navigation for blind people. There is a pressing need to develop a consistent standard to be implemented across wayfinding systems. This will open up a world where vision impaired people are no longer held back by their sight loss.

Built into the Wayfindr standard is a determination to create social, economic and personal value for users. During our trials we have seen an increase in the confidence of our participants. Every time a vision impaired person independently reaches their desired destination using Wayfindr it changes their perceptions of their own abilities. We believe that as the adoption of the Wayfindr standard increases, this impact will propagate across the globe.

How we got there

In March 2014 we secured a trial at Pimlico station in partnership with Transport for London (TfL). We installed Bluetooth LE Beacons across the station, and developed a basic prototype app which guided you around the station. At this point we were intending to build an app called ‘Wayfindr’ but we soon realised this was not the way to achieve our impact. We are now setting the standard for audio based wayfinding, ensuring that wherever blind and partially sighted people go, and whatever app they use, they have a consistent and reliable experience.

Wayfindr is now set up as a joint venture between ustwo and RLSB, and has recently received $1m of funding through as part of their Global Impact Challenge: Disabilities. In December 2015 we trialled the Wayfindr standard at London Euston in partnership with TfL. In this trial users could select from over 80 routes in the station, from exit to platform, between platforms etc.

The first version of the Wayfindr standard is due in Spring 2016. It will enable built environment owners, digital navigation services, and other stakeholders to adopt the standard and ensure their products and services are accessible to vision impaired people.

For more info visit