Sharpen your senses! Review of our Co-Design Workshop with Kids from Neukölln(Berlin)

Our yesterday’s kids-workshop on navigation and (mobile) communication by different senses (see post below!) was awesome:

We had a full day outdoor workshop with kids between the age of 3 to 12 years. It was difficult to count them, but we guess during the whole day it was roundabout 70 of them or so.

Together we explored how you navigate without seeing, how do you communicate without spoken language, we discussed the potential of visual communication and symbolic languages, and in the workshop “touch- and feel-mobiles (“Fühl-Handy”)” the kids produced little prototypes that dealt with the topic of sensitive surfaces: (“How should your mobile feel like, if a certain person calls you” or “How do ‘Heat’, ‘Sadness’, ‘Rain’, ‘Fun’ or ‘Beeing Bored’ feel on your mobile?”)

Here’s some impressions:

“Audio-Memory” (“Hör-Memory”):

In this game the kids got an idea of what it is like to use other senses then the usual ones. Unlike a classical “memory-game”, where you visually have to find pairs of similar pictures, in this game the kids had to listen (and also feel, weight and maybe even smell) in order to find the right pairs:

[Listen, weight, touch, feel, smell – the multisensoral memory game!]

[with these glasses you could not see a thing!]

“Visual Communication / Symbolic Language”:

In this workshop the kids explored the idea of communication without written or spoken language. Together we tried typical sentences and words you (or actually: the kids) normally use on your phone, like “How are you”, “The sun is shining”, “I am tired”, “Shall we go outside?”, “My brother is repairing his car?”.
In a first step, we asked them to draw little icons for certain sentences/words (“i feel good/bad” etc…).
In a second step the kids drew little icons and the others (including us) had to guess, what they wanted to tell us.
The kids thereby got an idea of what the job of a communication- or information-designer is about – in this case: by using small space and and single color to make complex situations understandble and bring them to the point:

[“I am happy / I am feeling good!”]

[“Let’s play football!”]

[“I’m going for a bycicle ride!”]

[“Let’s go swimming!”]


[“I changed the color of my hair!”]

[“Somebody annoyed me, so that i cried!”]

We also had pictures like these:





“Touchable! Feel your Mobile” (“Fühl-Handy”):

In this workshop the kids produced little prototypes that dealt with the topic of sensitive surfaces: (“How should your mobile feel like, if a certain person calls you” or “How do ‘Heat’, ‘Sadness’, ‘Rain’, ‘Fun’ or ‘Beeing Bored’ feel on your mobile?”).
Therefore they tried out different material and haptics, which lead to amazing results. For example some had the wish/idea that different (favorite) partners of communication or functions should have different buttons, that feel different:












The Workshop was called “Schärfe Deine Sinne” (”Sharpen your senses”).
These were only a few impressions of it. We’ll do more stuff at the StreetLab in august.

About designabilities

DESIGNABILITIES is an open-access journal established since 2009, managed and edited by....
This entry was posted in alternative communication, augmentative communication, blind, co-design, deaf, design project, reciprocal learning, social design, visual communication and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.