Sensory Objects awarded AHRC grant for start up enterprise purpleSTARS

purpleSTARS LogopurpleSTARS is our new start up enterprise funded for one year by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) it is a follow on fund project. The Sensory Objects Enterprise 2017-2018 grant aims to create opportunities for artists and technologists with and without learning disabilities working as a team with museums. STARS stands for Sensory Technology Art Resource Specialists we choose the colour purple as the colour has started to refer to the Purple Pound, purple has come to represent people with a disability.

During 2017-18 purpleSTARS LogopurpleSTARS  advisory group will develop the enterprise by running a series of pilot projects. At the British MuseumpurpleSTARS LogopurpleSTARS  are working as part of the Wolfson Project Advisory Group, at the Museum of English Rural Life MERL in Reading, two purpleSTARS LogopurpleSTARS  will work with students from Reading College Learners with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Dept, developing new sensory objects for the collection, and at the Ragged School Museum London purpleSTARS LogopurpleSTARS will be holding Sensory Expeditions for local SEN Schools.
purpleSTARS LogopurpleSTARS  are developing a new webpage and will launch later in 2018. Below is a picture from the front page of our new website currently under development.

PurpleSTARS-front-Page

PurpleSTARS-front-Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image below shows the Easy Read programme for the first meeting of the purpleSTARS LogopurpleSTARS Advisory Group.

 STARS Tower Project 1update.doc

PurpleSTARS Advisory Group Session one Sept 1st

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensory Objects co-researchers from the Tower Project agreed to become our purpleSTARS LogopurpleSTARS Advisory Group they will help us form the Sensory Objects Enterprise alongside business advice from EVOLVE Strategic Marketing Consultant Louise Moger.purpleSTARS LogopurpleSTARS Advisory Group:

purpleSTARS LogoJudith Appiah

purpleSTARS LogoTim Elson

purpleSTARS LogoJustin Grimes

purpleSTARS LogoMichael Tapps

purpleSTARS LogoSam Walker

purpleSTARS LogoKelly Woods

The picture below shows the purpleSTARS LogopurpleSTARS Advisory Group during the first meeting at RIX research and media. The group tested a new self assembly  version of the Sensory Labels and discussed the objects and labels they had made for the British Museums Enlightenment Gallery in 2015.

Tim constructs a Sensory Label

Tim constructs a Sensory Label

Sensory Label pig

Testing Sensory Labels pig sound

Michael tests sensory label

Michael tests sensory label

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judith Kelly Justin test card

Judith Kelly Justin test the postcards

 

Advisory group with sensorycards

Advisory group with Sensory Postcards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

purpleSTARS LogopurpleSTARS Advisory Group also met Becca Doggwiler who is collecting Impact of the Sensory Object project. Becca asked the group to help her design ways of collecting feedback to show the Impact of the project. The picture below shows Becca discussing feedback with the group and an online form they could tell us what they thought of the day.

Becca discussing feedback

Becca discussing feedback with the group

Online feedback questionnaire

Online feedback questionnaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture below shows the purpleSTARS LogopurpleSTARS Advisory Group SELFIE after the first session at RIX research & media.

Advisory Group selfie RIX 1st Sept

Advisory Group selfie RIX 1st Sept

 

 

‘From the Outside In’ Commission for Orleans House Gallery

In 2017 Sensory Objects were commissioned to make a box of sensory objects, workshop plans and log book to inspire and discover about art and biomedical science and to gain an Arts Award for Orleans House Gallery 

The pictures below shows the ‘From the Outside In’ box the box has images of different parts of the body in cut out blackboard stickers.

Outside Box 3

Outside Box 3

Outside Box 2 sides feet

Outside Box 2 sides feet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outside Box Spine

Outside Box Spine

Taking out top layer

Taking out top layer

Outside Box 3 Spine

Outside Box 3 Spine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lid & Bottom Layer of Box

Lid & Bottom Layer of Box

TopLayer of Box

TopLayer of Box

The artworks were developed in response to an interdisciplinary project called ‘From the Outside In’. Through hands on creative activities members of the Octagon Club a weekly club for young people with additional needs aged 11 to 17 and Transitions Art Group young people and adults with disabilities and additional needs aged 18+  worked with artists Morgan Sinton-Hewitt, Anna Dumitriu, Elizabeth Murton and Heather Barnett, Mellissa Fisher, Betsy Lewis-Holmes and science communicator Dr Sarah Bearchell on a project funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Sensory Objects commission was to translate this work into a box of artworks that introduce art and science to children as part of their Key Stage 2 skills at school and to enable them to achieve an Arts Award. In the development/testing stage the artworks have been used in schools workshops including Meadlands School and so far 46 ArtsAwards have been awarded. The box will be launched by Orleans House Gallery in August/ September 2017.

Sensory Objects created a Arts Award log book and a set of workshop plans for facilitators.

ArtsAward Logbook front

ArtsAward Logbook front

LOGBOOK3

LOGBOOK3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the objects such as the perspex head uses a sound sensor.

There is also a heart that pulses to be used in a workshop with 4 metronomes that can be altered to match the children’s heart beats.

Other works in the box include a felt stomach, put your hand inside the stomach and you can feel the Shibori felted interior made by Octagon and Transitions Group.

Felt Stomach

Felt Stomach

Shibori Felt Glove

Inside Shibori Felt Stomach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking inspiration from Kingston-based photographer Eadweard Muybridge the Octagon and Transitions groups looked at making movements, animation and drawings. The group used double-headed stethoscopes to listen to each other’s heartbeats and drew the sounds they could hear.

Heart stethoscope

Heart stethoscope

Heart Drawings

Heart Drawings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The box contains a rolled chalk board with the outline of a person that children can draw on organs with chalk, and a plaster cast of vegetable/brain made by members of the Octagon and Transitions group. The picture below also shows a drawing from an ArtsAward Log Book inspired by making brain casts from vegetables.

Brain/Veg Cast

Brain/Veg Cast

ArtsAward Brain Drawing

ArtsAward Brain Drawing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The box also contains an imaginary creature called a Pegasaurus that is the starting point of a workshop where pegs are used to mark the spine, paper was rolled to make a spine, the box also contains a flexible medical spine.

Pegasorus

Pegasaurus

Peg Jumper

Peg Jumper

bendyspine

BendySpine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The box contains a perspex hand inspired by the body as a machine, the picture below shows workshop to create a hand from straws, string and a plastic glove.

Hand Machine Perspex

Hand Machine Perspex

Hand Machine Workshop Item

Hand Machine Workshop Item

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The images below show sheets that are in the box that introduces all the ‘From the Outside In’ artists.

Introduction to From the Outside In page one and two

Introduction to From the Outside In page one and two

Introduction to From the Outside In page three

Introduction to From the Outside In page three

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The images below show the four projects that the Octagon Club and Transitions Art Group worked with the artists.

Image below shows Memory and Movement project sheet,

Memory and Movement

Memory and Movement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below Genetics and the Digital Age sheet,

Genetics and the Digital Age

Genetics and the Digital Age

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image below The Mechanics of the Body sheet,

The Mechanics of the Body From the Outside I

The Mechanics of the Body

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image below shows Mapping the body sheet.

Mapping the Body From the Outside In Project

Mapping the Body

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madhouse My House Exhibition feedback.

Read about the Madhouse My House Exhibition on a special wiki website. Click on the Hackney Museum Exhibition Circle to hear feedback from visitors to the exhibition.

Below Hackney Museum curated all the Twitter activity about the Madhouse my House Exhibition into a  Moment.

Below are pictures and comments about the MADHOUSE Exhibition.

Below is a Preview about the exhibition.

review Madhouse My House Feedback

review Madhouse My House Feedback

You can also find out more about the Madhouse My House Exhibition in a report from Wiki Master Ajay Choksi part of the new Living Archive of Learning Disability History.

Below is an image from Twitter the comment from Gustopher Jones said “Great opening….Fascinating and Important…”

wittrPICMadHouseOPENING

TwittrPICMadHouseOPENING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below, Access All Areas researchers led a workshop exploring the Madhouse My House Exhibition as part of Museums Wellbeing Week 2017.

Picture below shows members of Access All Areas crumpling up copies of the official Medical Certificate of Mabel Cooper from 1957, that labelled her an Imbecile, ready to throw in the bin that triggers the sound of the Asylum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture below shows Mabel Coopers Medical Certificate from 1957.

Mabel Cooper Medical Cert

Mabel Cooper Medical Cert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture below Access All Areas lead session for Museum and Heritage professionals.

Picture below Access All Areas lead session for Museum and Heritage professionals, Harvey Waterman told us he remembered being given big brown pills patients were sedated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture below shows Access All Areas presenting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture below shows comments about the exhibition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture below shows close up of exhibition comment, it says “The exhibition itself is wonderful. I think it is really important that it tours beyond Hackney- there are similar stories everywhere and the themes are relevant to all of us. Excellent ‘Residents’ team of presenters.”

Exhibition feedback

Exhibition feedback

 

 

 

 

 

MILKING IT part of a MERL late for British Science Week on Thursday 16th March 7.00-10.00pm

Sensory Objects and their co-researchers, students from Reading College LLD/D dept developed an Interactive Sensory Cow for The Museum of English Rural Life MERL. The idea of the cow is to be used during workshops to explore cows in alternative ways. The cow was commissioned by the Reading Arts Committee and the CLA Charitable Trust .

The MERL Sensory Cow is featuring in MILKING IT part of a MERL late for British Science Week on Thursday 16th March 7.00-10.00pm 

Sensory Objects Co-Researchers from Reading Mencap with Penny Mordaunt MP

Sensory Objects Co-Researchers from Reading Mencap Coffee club demonstrated some of our Sensory Objects to Penny Mordaunt Minister for Disability  during a visit organised by the Breaking Down Barriers Project 

Penny Mordaunt visit sensory Objects

Penny Mordaunt visit sensory Objects

Penny Mordant with Sensory Objects

Penny Mordant with Sensory Objects

Madhouse My House? exhibition opening night 2nd Feb 2017

MadHouseFlyer-1

MadHouseFlyer-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night Madhouse My House? opened at Hackney Museum. Co-researchers from Access All Areas presented their research and the ideas that Sensory Objects have developed with them to create a sensory interactive exhibition.

The group explained their ideas for the exhibition and told the story of Mabel Cooper and Harvey Waterman who has just celebrated his 80th birthday remembered what it was like to be in St Lawrence’s Hospital.

The exhibition is just the start of a series of events that will tell the story of the institutionalisation of people with learning disabilities.

We were introduced to artists who will continue the work with perfomances at Shoreditch Town Hall, top left in the photo below and right Ciara Brennan – Associate Director – Access All Areas introduces Professor Jan Walmsley who emphasised that while it is important to raise awareness of the history of people with learning disabilities, the situation continues to be problematic with many people still in private care homes, many continue to be isolated, in their own homes because of cuts in social care and face few opportunities for employment. This was further emphasised by Nick Llewellyn – Artistic Director of Access All Areas who quoted from a newspaper article in the Guardian that warns that there are plans to open up large institutions to WAREHOUSE  people who can’t afford home care.

ArtistaccessAllareasINTRO

Artist and Co-reseachers from Access All Areas introducing the exhibition

ALLMadhouseCo-researchers

Access All Areas Co-researchers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images of visitors at the opening night Co-reserachers gave visitors tours of the exhibition.

MadHouseOpeningNight

MadHouseOpeningNight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reactions on Twitter

wittrPICMadHouseOPENING

Twitter PIC MadHouse OPENING

Twitter Opening

Twitter Opening

Twitter mad housebin

Twitter madhouse bin

TwitterMadHouse Opening

TwitterMadHouse Opening

Twitter Terrie at exihibiton

Twitter Terry at the exhibition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graham demos the No Escape Slippers

 

Graham Points to No Escape Slippers

Graham Points to No Escape Slippers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlene demos Tooth Brusher below and finally the Easy Read Programme for the exhibition including the Madhouse Wiki

Charlene demo toothbrusher

Charlene demos Tooth Brusher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Read Madhouse Exhbition

Easy Read Madhouse Exhibition

Sensory Objects with Access All Areas exhibition at Hackney Museum 2017

Sensory Objects have been collaborating with Access All Areas is an award winning theatre company for adults with learning disabilities based in Hackney, London. We have created an interactive exhibition Madhouse, My House? that will open at Hackney Museum London this Thursday 2nd February 2017 – May 13th 2017 .

Below is an image of the Access All Areas Residents Group  who researched and developed the exhibition with Sensory Objects during a visit to Hackney Museum.

Residents Researchers Hackney

Access All Areas Residents Group Researchers on visit to Hackney Muesum

Below is an image of the flyer.

MadHouseFlyer-1

MadHouseFlyer-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intro panel to the exhibition

Intro panel to the exhibition

 

 

Until the 1980s many people with learning disabilities were forced to live in hospitals for ‘idiots’, ‘imbeciles’ and the ‘feeble minded’. Explore life at St. Lawrence’s using the stories of two ex-patients: Harvey Waterman and Mabel Cooper.

This interactive exhibition was researched and created by members of Access All Areas, a Hackney-based theatre company that works with people with learning disabilities.

The exhibition is called ‘MADHOUSE myhouse?’ it is part of  a 3 year digital creative learning programme that accompanies the ‘MADHOUSE re:exit’ production by Access All Areas’ Performance Company. The project explores the history of institutionalisation of people with learning disabilities. From long stay hospitals in 1913 right through to current treatment units.

Below are some pictures of the MadHouse My House Exhibition during installation.

TIMELINEBED1

TIMELINE BED History of St Lawrence House from Asylum then Hospital and finally demolition

TIMELINE PERSONAL STORIES

TIMELINE PERSONAL STORIES of Harvey Waterman and Mabel Cooper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NoEscapeSlippers

Mabel said the patients were made to wear bedroom slippers so they wouldn’t run away ‘NoEscapeSlippers’

RUFaRO with TOOTHER

RUFaRO with TOOTHER inspired by research that patients had to share a toothbrush

TOOTHERcloseup

TOOTHER closeup

PILL BOTTLE WALL

PILL BOTTLE WALL Harvey remembered being given big brown pills

Pills close Up

Pills close Up

MadHouse Bin HUNG

MadHouse Bin makes the sound of the Madhouse when you throw away a Mental Health Label saying Imbecile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensory Cow for MERL 2016

Over the last few months Sensory Objects and their co-researchers, students from Reading College LLD/D dept developed an Interactive Sensory Cow for The Museum of English Rural Life MERL. The idea of the cow is to be used during workshops to explore cows in alternative ways. The cow was commissioned by the Reading Arts Committee and the CLA Charitable Trust .

Last night our Reading College LLD/D group did a fantastic job showcasing the cow at MERL’s Grand Opening Night. They have been practising over the last few weeks showing visitors how to record their own “MOO”.

Below are pictures of the cow before the guests arrived.
cow-before-all-arrived

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a very busy night opening night, the cow was in the MERL studio and we showcased the cow to many people. The Director of MERL Kate Arnold Forster mentioned our cow in her speech and it soon the cow recorded some excellent moo’s from the guests. There were so many people it was hard to hear after people had recorded it. Here is a clip from an earlier vist with guest leaving their moo.

Below are images from the opening night demoing the cow.

Exploring the Cow

Exploring the Cow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

showcasing-cow

showcasing-cow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

people-with-cow

people-with-cow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

experiencing-the-cow

experiencing-the-cow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALL ABOUT MAKING THE COW

Below are images of our Reading College co-researchers and the cow.

a-reading-college-role-play-with-cow

a-reading-college-role-play-with-cow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In response to the sensory objects developed during the AHRC Sensory Objects project, working with Reading College LLD/D students at MERL during 2013-14, the need for interactive exhibits and farm animals was highlighted.  Earlier prototypes developed resulted in the idea of creating an Interactive Sensory Cow for MERL as part of the major re-hang of the collection. Below is Rumena’s  interactive chicken 2014.

Our group’s engagement was heightened when creating animal noises during their visit to MERL. The engagement made the collection more accessible and brought to life farms and that farm animals were central to a museum about farming.

The Sensory Cow has been developed as a workshop tool, it allows people to leave their own cow sounds, or any sound they wish, the sounds are recorded by continually pressing a button under the cows chin. Below is a picture of the record button under the cows chin.

cow record button

cow record button

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our co-researchers practiced inviting the public to record their own sounds and how to stop and start the sounds.

The pictures below shows Steven and Charlotte recording sounds.

recording-a-moo-2

recording-a-moo-2

stephen-pressing-recording-button

stephen-pressing-recording-button

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recorded sounds are played back immediately after recording and can be stopped and started by pressing the milk bottle top switch on the cow’s rump.

bottletopswitch

Milk Bottletop Switch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

working-on-the-cow

working-on-the-cow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sounds collected can be added and removed via the cow’s own Raspberry Pi mini computer network which can be accessed by any computer or iPad joining the cow’s own network and easy to use interface the Moo Manager. The Moo Manger allows workshop facilitators to add their own sounds depending on their workshop subject and easy to delete unwanted sounds.

networked-interface-to-add-and-remove-recordings

networked-interface-to-add-and-remove-recordings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cow stands on a grass wheeled base, this houses the Raspberry Pi and speakers and a smell machine with a fan that blows out smells. Working with our group we decided to use a pleasant smell that relates to produce of a cow, milk chocolate.

cow-undercarrage

cow-undercarrage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a talk from Adam an MA student who lives on a farm, he told us some facts about living on a farm with cows. He also mentioned that we needed to add thick eye lashes to the cow.

new-eyelashes

new-eyelashes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With our co-researchers we developed workshop materials to be used with the cow. The cow has magnets placed inside it so that various items could be attached to it. We explored items that are produced by the cow, leather and suede patches, milk cartons, milk drinks, beefburgers suggested by the group. The cow has items that attach to it like a type of fridge magnet. We think the  cow could be used to facilitate workshops with people of all ages and abilities.

 

mars-drink

mars-drink

milkbottle-detail

milkbottle-detail

 

 

 

 

 

tactile-patch

tactile-patch

cow-patch-large

cow-patch-large

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cow-close-up

cow-close-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We explored creating stories about fantasy cows or cows based on Greek mythology, as this was part of Reading College LLD/D Dept set studies this term. The group are studying the myth of the Minotaur towards a performance at the end of term. We explored role playing the Minotaur stories and presenting the cow to the public. Below are some of the imaginative ideas of storytelling based on the cow fantasies, inventions and the myth of the Minotaur.

A sensory interpretative journey by Natasha Barrett

Kia ora (a traditional Māori greeting), my name is Natasha Barrett and I’m Museum Studies PhD student from the University of Leicester (AHRC Midlands 3 Cities funded). My research is about colonial-era photographs (1860s-1914) of Māori, the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. I have been discovering how these photographs have been understood and used over time by both Māori and non-Māori. This includes within and outside of British museums. I approach photographs as three-dimensional physical objects. They can as my research shows, reflect social connections amongst communities and with institutions around the world holding photographic collections.

A few months ago, as part of my PhD fieldwork, I met up with Dr Kate Allen at the British Museum. Despite our projects seeming quite dissimilar, there were many parallels, which were helpful for my research. For example, groups of people (and individuals) understand the world in very different ways and all are equally valid. The challenge for those of us working in museums is to try and understand this. We then need to create space for alternative ways of explaining objects. Sensory Labels fully and cleverly achieves this.

Kate gave me a tour around the Enlightenment Gallery with a few of the Sensory Labels. Having recently found out I am dyslexic, I was also personally interested to experience interpretation that does not use text. I was immediately struck by the wonder of the experience and sat with the labels on the gallery floor listening, smelling, touching, smiling and laughing. Through the labels I entered into the stories of the creators – the personal associations, meanings and memories that the objects in the gallery held for them. Each Sensory Label is highly unique, beautifully crafted and reflects the creator’s personality. By the end, I felt I had ‘virtually’ met a fascinating group of people who had enriched my experience of the gallery.

nb_with_ryan_burns_sl

nb_with_ryan_burns_sensory label

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The author listening to Ryan Burns’ Sensory Label, 2016. Photograph courtesy of Dr Kate Allen.

ryan_burns_sl_lasercut_photo_low_res

Ryan Burns Sensory Label laser cut photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ryan Burns’ Sensory Label showing his laser cut photograph, 2016. Photograph by Natasha Barrett.

The labels, many of which include miniature versions of the displayed objects, emphasise the sense of touch. Usually in galleries you can only imagine what touching the objects behind glass might be like. Sam Walker’s use of a real shell and Judith Appiah’s carefully crafted Nigerian slipper let you experience the feel of the objects – their texture, shape and smell. Far from being just interpretative devices, Sensory Labels are also fascinating objects in their own right. Not only did they hold my attention but they drew in other people in the gallery, including one of the museum guides. We had a fascinating discussion about snakes in the Hindu religion, as a result of Katy Woollard’s snake themed label. This is, as Kate and I discussed, the power of the Sensory Labels. They create opportunities for conversations and let people share knowledge and diverse perspectives.

sam_walker_sl_shell_low_res

Sam Walker’s sensory label shell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sam Walker’s Sensory Label with shell on/off switch, 2016. Photograph by Natasha Barrett.

Afterwards Kate and I meet with George Oates from Museum in a Box. I had noticed the similarities between the projects and was intrigued to discuss this further. Both use box formats and readily available low-tech electronics systems. These are easy to use and focus on the non-visual senses (e.g. touch and sound). They encourage people to interact or do something with the objects to make something else happen. Might these devices offer an alternative way of interpreting photographs? Far from being just pictures, we interact with photographs using our emotions and senses. Just think about the photographs in your own house, particularly those of your loved ones. What do they mean to you, and how you display and interact with them? They might make us laugh and cry, and beyond just looking, we touch and respond to photographs in a variety of ways. However this is not how photographs are usually interpreted and displayed in museums. Instead photographs are simply used as images to illustrate historical events and show what people looked like (a form of visual evidence).

Although Sensory Labels and Museum in a Box are not currently being used to interpret photographs, I can see great potential for this. For example, the laser cut photographs of the creators on the Sensory Labels suggests the way we tend to touch photographs. Touch is important in Māori culture and this technology creates a way of experiencing photographs through the fingertips. Sound is also significant for Māori and with both systems photographs could be used to activate the sound of Māori elders talking. This would give them the opportunity to talk about their ancestors, cultural treasures (known as taonga) and the places shown in the photographs. Themed packs of photographs could also be put together and used as George noted, as a way of ‘returning’ photographs (and the knowledge they hold) of people, places and cultural objects to their communities.

sl_and_mib_low_res

sensory labels and museum in a box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Museum in a Box (foreground) and Sensory Labels (background), 2016. Photograph by Natasha Barrett.

Experiences in museum still tend to rely on looking at and seeing objects. Opportunities for using our other senses, especially with photographs, are still not common. Also, whilst the voices of ordinary people are now heard in museums, these are still often shaped by institutions. Both Sensory Labels and Museum in a Box give people the freedom to express things in their own way. Using low cost systems, they place the power of object interpretation outside of the museum. However, these systems are flexible and can also used within museums. I look forward to seeing how these projects develop in the future!

 

Researcher experiences Sensory Labels: Focus on Ryan’s Label

Museum Studies PhD researcher Natasha Barrett contacted us to ask if she could experience some of our Sensory Labels created for the Enlightenment Gallery in the British Museum. Natasha is interested in exploring photograph with all our senses.

Natasha with Ryans Box

Natasha with Ryan’s Box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natasha introduced me to George Oates from Museum in a Box  we found we had lots of things in common creating sensory experiences for museums.

Museum in a Box1

Museum in a Box1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I brought some Sensory Labels made by our co-researchers from the Tower Project to the Enlightenment Gallery, for Natasha to try, Ryan Burns Chinese plate inspired label was a particular favourite. Below are images from Ryan’s Wiki Pages developing his label and sharing it with the public. There is also a video of Ryan’s Sensory Label in action so you can hear what everyone was listening to in the pictures. The smell Ryan chose was a floral perfume that reminded him of his Nan. Ryan’s drawing and his photograph was laser etched into the surface of the label.

Here are pictures from Ryan’s Wiki showing the development of his sensory label as documented by him. The plate Ryan made from air hardening clay as his response to the ones in the Enlightenment Gallery, broke. This gave Ryan the idea to have the sound of breaking ceramics on his sound track, he also found some Chinese Opera to add to his soundscape.

Ryans Diary Making Label

Ryan’s Diary Making Label

Ryans Diary Showing Label

Ryan’s Diary Showing Label

Sensory Objects present to SHARE East Seminar at The Polar Museum 4th March 2016


Judith with support work Reshma and Kate went to the Polar Museum in Cambridge to present the Sensory Object research project to SHARE East Working with Different Audiences. We co-presented the research, Judith did an excellent job describing her Sensory Label for the Enlightenment Gallery at the British Museum and how we use the five senses in our workshops. The organiser Katrina Siliprandi commented after

“Thank you so much for your input to today’s programme. It was brilliant for the group to hear about the work you have been doing and presented so clearly and interestingly. Thank you so much for arranging for Judith to also contribute to the presentation. I think the work you are doing is wonderfully innovative and exciting and clearly so valuable for the project members.”

We were also given a fascinating tour of the Polar Museum after the seminar.

Entrance to the Polar Museum Cambridge

Entrance to the Polar Museum Cambridge

During presentation

During presentation

 

Judith demos how a bend sensor activates her sound in her Sensory Label made for the Enlightenment Gallery at the British Museum

Judith demos how a bend sensor activates her sound in her Sensory Label made for the Enlightenment Gallery at the British Museum

Working with Different Audiences Programme

9.45   Coffee

10.00   Introduction

10.05   Speaker: Naomi Chapman, Polar Museum   “Building up different audiences at the Polar Museum.”

Naomi from the Education and Outreach team will talk through some of the ways that the Polar Museum have worked to increase the diversity of their audiences.

10.35   Speaker: John Lanagan, CEO, Museum of East Anglian Life   “A Prescription for Living” – Improving health and well being through inclusion and participation.

The workshop will provide an overview of the programmes the Museum of East Anglian Life has developed for supported volunteering and adult skills development for people with learning and physical disabilities, mental health issues and otherwise disadvantaged backgrounds. In interactive sessions delegates will have the opportunity to explore the motivation for working with diverse groups, what unique opportunities their organisation can offer and some of the practicalities of delivery.

11.30   Speaker: Isabel Craig, The Norris Museum   “Spuds, Spam and Stirrup Pumps”

12.00   A brief tour of the Polar Museum with Naomi Chapman, thinking about how the various spaces and display might work with different audiences.

12.30-1.15   Lunch, including tea and coffee

1.15   Speaker: Gill Brailey, Heritage Learning Manager, Lancashire County Council Cultural Services   “Creating an Autism Friendly Museum”, a case study in discovering a range of resources and strategies to support museum visits

2.00  Speaker: Judith Appiah, Sensory Objects Co-Researcher from the Tower Project and Dr Kate Allen, Associate Professor in Art, Department of Art, University of Reading  “Sensory Objects”

This programme is about the co-creation of  multi-sensory interactive art works that respond to museum collections, to generate alternative ideas for museum interpretation, developed through art and electronics-based workshops by people with learning disabilities in collaboration with an interdisciplinary research team.

Over the last three years researchers from the University of Reading and RIX Research and Media at the University of East London have collaborated with people with learning disabilities from the Tower Project London exploring collections in The Enlightenment Gallery at The British Museum where they created Sensory Labels.

They worked with Reading College students from the Learners with Learning Difficulties /Disabilities Dept exploring the University of Reading’s Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) where they created interactive farm animal prototypes which they are currently developing into more robust versions of the original ideas for the re-hang of MERL.

They also worked with Mencap Liverpool Access to Heritage at the National Trust’s Speke Hall where they have made Sensory Story boxes. Sensory Objects was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council 2012-15 and are currently applying for further funding to create a more sustainable enterprise for people with Learning Disabilities to work within museums and heritage sites.

2.45   Speaker: Jeremy Kimmel, Audience Development Officer, Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery   “Using Partnerships to Unlock New Audiences”

Jeremy will talk about how partnerships have allowed Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery to work with different audiences and develop the Dementia Toolkit

3.30-3.45 Plenary

 

SHARE Museums East screen grab

Sensory Objects Poster Engage Conference 02.12.15

Ajay Choksi Wiki Master from RIX research and media and Kate presented a Sensory Objects poster at Engage 2015-Engaging with Impact in Bristol at the Royal Marriott Hotel  We also introduced ArtLab which is a project that has grown out of the Sensory Objects Research. ArtLab promotes Widening Participation and Research projects at the University of Reading. The text below is from the Engage Programme about the poster party event.

“Engage enthusiasts will be pleased to know we are hosting the fabulous Poster Party with over 30 people and teams keen to share their work with great ideas for developing more effective engagement, celebrate and network in style with nibbles and drinks – encouraging constructive and inspiring conversations from across the world.” The picture below shows the poster with Adalana showing her Sensory Label at the British Musuem, we also demonstrated some of the Sensory Labels, this was before they turned on the party lights!

Poster Party Presentation

Poster Party Presentation

There were lots of people Ajay did a great job explaining about the project, demoing the Sensory Labels and showing the project Wikis. The pictures below show Ajay at work talking about Sensory Objects during the ENGAGE 2015 Poster Party, with some pink/purple lighting.

Ajay explains to AHRC person

Ajay explains to AHRC person

Ajay explains to UCL person

Ajay explains to UCL person

Listening to Adalana's Label

Listening to Adalana’s Label

Ajay shows Wiki

Ajay shows Wiki

Ajay Talks to Researcher

Ajay Talks to Researcher

 

 

 

 

 

Sensory Objects commissioned to create Interactive Farm Animal for MERL

We have been given a small grant by the University of Reading Arts Committee to create one of our ideas of an interactive farm animal generated by our work with Reading College Learners with learning difficulties and disabilities dept at MERL in 2014.

Buckets Baskets And Boots Flyer

Buckets Baskets And Boots Flyer

The proposal builds on Sensory Objects research to create an interactive farm animal experience ready for the opening of MERL in late 2016. The interactive experience (in the form of a full size interactive farm animal) will be created through a series of workshops at MERL run by Sensory Objects during 2016 in collaboration with students and Sensory Objects Co-reseaerchers. The workshops will explore the life of farm animals through all the senses employing stories, sound effects, and tactile materials to develop an interactive cow. The exhibit will encourage an inclusive accessible experience for visitors to MERL.

We propose to modify a cow bought from Jolly Roger model company by installing technology, which allows interaction for the visitor.

Resin Cow

Resin Cow

Some of our ideas for interaction include:

  • Stroking the cow will trigger sounds, smells and provide a tactile experience.
  • A recording mechanism in the animal’s ear so that when the audience squeezes the ear they will be able to leave a recording of their version of the animals sound.
  • Recorded sounds could be randomize and include audience created animal noises of moos etc and pre-recorded sounds.
  • Patting the back of the cow will trigger its tail to swish and activate a smell of Farmyard/Manure.

Sensory Objects Present to Visitor Studies Group Meeting, Whitworth Gallery Manchester 11.11.15

Tim Elson with support worker Ferhat from The Tower Project and Kate went to Manchester to present our research at an event called Access All Areas?

Tim and Ferhat at the Whitworth Art Gallery

Tim and Ferhat at the Whitworth Art Gallery

The day focussed on access and accessibility in the cultural sector the pictures below show a screen grab from the webpage and the presentation at the Whitworth Gallery.

VSGAcess All Areas Screen Grab 2015

VSGAcess All Areas Screen Grab 2015

Presentation VSG

Presentation VSG

The picture below shows the easy read plan of our presentation, we also showed some of our Sensory Labels made for the Enlightenment Gallery. Tim and Kate answer questions about the project.

Sensory Objects Present Access All Areas 2015.d

Sensory Objects Present Access All Areas 2015

We had a great response from the audience including some tweets. The picture below shows Tim’s box in a tweet.

Visitor Study Group 2015 Tweet

Visitor Study Group 2015 Tweet

We were asked if we would be able present a conference for Share Museums East, held at the Polar Museum in Cambridge on Friday March 4th 2016.

Sensory Objects Summer 2015

Sensory Objects has been busy over the last few months sharing our research nationally and internationally. Tower Project co-researchers produced a newsletter documenting the project.

Tower Project Newletter by Tim and Judith

Tower Project Newletter by Tim and Judith

We featured in an article by French journalist Clara Crochet-Damais which documented the award ceremony in Paris where we were awarded the International Access for All Design Trophy 2015 on the website FranceTVinfo

FranceTVinfoPage report on Design for All Foundation Award

FranceTVinfoPage report on Design for All Foundation Award

Nic getting trophy 2015

Summer 2015   Zena Hussein an Intern from UEL worked on data analysis from the Sensory Objects Project. Karl and Barbara Baeck from a tempo, a support network for people with disabilities to access employment, in Graz Austria, Karl and Barbara were funded by the European Union to study the Sensory Objects project. They intend to translate the Sensory Expeditions Activity book into German. The picture below shows Karl with Marc on an earlier visit to the project.

Karel with Marc from ‘atempo' Graz

Karl with Marc from ‘atempo’ Graz.

Sensory Objects were invited by Becki Morris to contribute to a new webpage Disability Cooperative Network the aim of the network is to share knowledge to break down barriers for disability in the cultural sector

DCN network

DCN network

you can see our Case Study Page here  Becki told us that the Sensory Stories Liverpool 2013 seminar was incredibly important to her and the cookbook had been an incredible resource. The webpage was launched by Becki as part of a Museums Association Seminar, Opening doors: Rethinking disabled access and interpretation in your museum23.06.15 The picture below shows Becki at our Sensory Stories Seminar in Liverpool in 213, co-researcher Chris is demonstrating the creak of his sensory Speke Hall box.

Chris demos his box

Chris demos his box

Award winning Sensory Labels of the Enlightenment Gallery returns for Half Term at The British Museum

Our Co-researchers from Tower Project ‘Sensory Labels of the Enlightenment Gallery’ was such a hit earlier in the year we were invited back by The British Museum as a half term activity. The museum was packed with visitors, Tower Project did an excellent job engaging old and young with their work and we had a brilliant response from the public. Below are some pictures from the day.

Group around table

Group around table

Listening to Judiths box

Listening to Judiths box

Justin in group

Justin in group

Kelly demos her label

Kelly demos her label

Sam demos Label

Sam demos Label

smelling Justin’s label

smelling Justin’s label

We also showed off our  Design for All Foundation Award Trophy and Certificate that were were awarded at a ceremony in Paris in Jan 2015 for our Co-researchers from Tower Project Sensory Labels at The British Museum. It was the first time all the group had seen the Trophy and Certificate. Below are the Tower Project with their Sensory Labels, Trophy and Certificate in The British Museums Great Court.

Tower with Trophy and Cert

Tower with Trophy and Cert

 

The images below show closeups of the Design for All Foundation Award Trophy and Certificate 2015.

Design for All Foundation Certificate

Design for All Foundation Certificate

Design for All Foundation Trophy

Design for All Foundation Trophy

Sensory Objects present master class and demo at the Museum and Heritage Show 2015

On Wed 29th April Sensory Objects co-researchers from Tower Project presented a well attended master class and demo during the Museum and Heritage show at Olympia London. UEL had a stand where we displayed some of our Sensory Objects including some made by our co-researchers from Reading College Learners with Learning Difficulties/Disabilities dept at the Museum of English Rural Life including our yellow jiggling and grunting pig.

John with Rachel's yellow pig

John with Rachel’s yellow pig

The pig was very effective at catching peoples attention during the show, we also showed the sheep cushion that goes ‘baa’ when stroked.Tryingsheepcushion2

During the talk co-researchers from the Tower Project Judith Appiah and Tim Elson showed the audience their Sensory Labels for the Enlightenment Museum at The British MuseumGeraldine & Judith.

Tim showing his sensory label

Tim showing his sensory label

Tim and Judith described the workshop process and how they developed sensory information and shared their work with the public at the British Museum. Throughout the day many people came over to the stand to discuss ideas about how to make museums more sensory and inclusive.

Sensory Objects at Museums & Heritage Show

Sensory Objects at Museums & Heritage Show

We also took some photos of Tim, Judith and Kate with our recently awarded International Design For All Trophy 2015. We return for another Sensory Labels showcase in the Enlightenment Gallery at the British Museum on Thursday 28th May 2015.

 

Kate Judith and Tim with Design for All Award

Kate Judith and Tim with Design for All Award

‘Sensory Labels at The British Museum’ awarded the International Design for All Foundation Awards Trophy 2015

The 6th edition of the International Design for All Foundation Good Practices Awards recognise achievements in the field of design for all, great and small, by governments, businesses, not-for-profit organisations and professionals from all over the world. In so doing, they aim to demonstrate that the implementation of design for all/universal design in any form contributes towards improving quality of life for everyone.

At the Design for All Foundation we believe that our awards should not be a competition, but that we should recognise all examples of good practice which arise from identifying a need or problem and satisfying user requirements and expectations. Hence from this edition onwards we will honour all “Good Practices” which meet the criteria for excellence.

However, each year an international jury will select the 5 “Best Practices” out of all the Good Practices submitted to be presented with the International Design for All Foundation Award. These will be the examples which stand out in terms of their impact and which indicate the way ahead for better implementation of design for all/universal design.

International Design for All Award Best Practice

International Design for All Award Best Practice

Sensory Objects Seminar at The British Museum 25.02.15

Below is the easy read programme of our very successful Seminar at The British Museum. You can see a report of the Seminar on our Co-researchers Wiki

Seminar BRITISH MUSEUM 25th FEB Programme 1&2

Seminar BRITISH MUSEUM 25th FEB Programme 1&2

Microsoft Word - Seminar BRITISH MUSEUM 25th FEB Programme

Microsoft Word – Seminar BRITISH MUSEUM 25th FEB Programme

The picture below shows an image from our Co-researchers Wiki documenting Angela from Access to Heritage  giving the first presentation of the Seminar about the Sensory Objects at Speke Hall.

Wiki Angela presents

Wiki Angela presents

Kellys Report

Kellys Report

 

The picture below shows Angela showing her scrap book to delegates.

Angela showing her scrap book

Angela showing her scrap book

Next was a presentation from year two of the Sensory Objects Project at the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) with Co-researchers from Reading College Learners with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities. The talk included a video featuring the Director of MERL talking about the influence of Sensory Objects project on the redesign of MERL

Impact of Sensory Objects by  Kate Arnold Forster Director of MERL

I just wanted to mention a couple of small examples of how we are beginning to take forward the Sensory Objects work into the new interpretation plans for MERL We are currently working on developing the ideas for the interactive in the new galleries and has already a couple where the Reading College project has definitely informed our thinking. Both are quite simple, but you can probably see how they link back to your project. We are developing a gallery called the Wagon Walk – a space where we will bring together all of our farm wagons and aim to interpret them in multiple ways. However, one important facet to the different designs for farm wagons is the relationship between different regional types of wagon and topography.  Wagons designed for mainly flat terrain are different to those for hilly areas of areas with narrow winding lanes, for example. So we are going to create a 3D map of the landscape that visitors can touch and explore as a way of understanding about landscape and topography. The other example is that we will be creating a model farm that visitors can explore and interact with, but it will include smells and noises (not sure quite how yet) but that is the plan.

At a slightly different  level we have now undertaken a piece of work to develop new approaches to tactile access to our collections as it is clear that as a result of Sensory Objects and other audience feedback our visitors are keen to handle and interact with real objects as part of their visitor experience.   We have  developed a scheme to enable us to make more collections available for handling and so that it is acceptable to curators, conservators as well as our audiences. This is an area of wider interest within the museums community and we are sharing this work with a training seminar next month (funded by ACE) and there is interest from the Collections Trust in incorporating this new protocol into the next round of SPECTRUM – the museums standard for collections care (so a  piece of impact of policy and practice).

The next presentation in the picture below was by Co-researchers Tim, Judith and Sam from the Tower Project. They explained the process of developing Sensory Labels for the Enlightenment Gallery at The British Museum.

Judith presenting with us in background

Judith presenting with us in background

The picture below shows Sam and her first Sensory Postcard.

Smiling Sam with shell card

Smiling Sam with shell card

The picture below shows Tim talking about his drawing of a plane that he wanted to be engraved in wood. His idea inspired everyone to have their drawings laser cut into wood.

Tim presenting

Tim presenting

Then the co-researechers invited all the delegates to try their sensory labels during lunch.

WIKI All show the Labels

WIKI All show the Labels

Julie with group listening to her box

Julie with group listening to her box

Adjoa showing Sarah her Sensory Label

Adjoa showing Sarah her Sensory Label

After lunch Ajay gave a presentation from his diary about the project including our Pop Up Musuem

AJay presenting

AJay presenting

Next Kelly, Ryan and Justin co-presented with Andy about using Wikis to help reflect and develop their research ideas.

Judith Reports on the Seminar

Judith Reports on the Seminar

Kelly Presenting

Kelly Presenting

Andy with Ryan presenting

Andy with Ryan presenting

Justins Wiki diary

Justins Wiki diary

After Justin’s presentation Nic showed some of the electronics called Arduinos used inside the sensory objects to trigger sounds he also showed some of the workshop kit we have used during the project.

Nic with Arduino

Nic with Arduino

Nic also demonstrated two cushions that make noise when you stroke them.

Nic with sensory cushions

Nic with sensory cushions

Tweet of creature in cup workshop

Tweet of creature in cup workshop

Nic and Kassie then invited the delegates to try littlebits. The challenge was to create a creature in a cup.

littlebits BM seminar creature in a cup

littlebits BM seminar creature in a cup

Making a creature in a cup littlebits

Making a creature in a cup littlebits

Everyone had a go making a creature in a cup, then finally Andy led a discussion reflecting on the project and the Sensory Activities Guide.

5 senses Tim and Andy

5 senses Tim and Andy

Sam says Make museums more accessible

Sam says Make museums more accessible

Sensory Expeditions

Sensory Expeditions

Faustina Caroline and Sensory Activities Book

Faustina Caroline and Sensory Activities Book

Sensory Objects Seminar

Sensory Objects Seminar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensory Labels Showcase Day in The Enlightenment Gallery at The British Museum 11.02.15

Sensory Objects co-researchers from The Tower Project created a set of 12 labels you could look at touch, listen to and smell based on objects in the Enlightenment Gallery . These Sensory Labels were then enthusiastically and confidently presented  to the public by our co-researchers during 2015. Each Sensory Label was created as an alternative piece of interpretation for an object chosen by our co-researchers  thinking about sensory information.

This work was awarded the Design For All Foundation Award Trophy in 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture below shows the 12 Sensory Objects Co-researchers from the Tower Project and supporters during one of the sessions.

Group shot of Sensory Object Researchers

Group shot of Sensory Object Researchers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The response was fantastic with many positive reactions expressed to us, collected on feedback forms, recordings, written on twitter. We were invited to present the Sensory Labels during half term.

The picture below shows Sam showing Chalkwell School the Sensory Labels.

Lots of Tweets document the day

Lots of Tweets document the day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the day colleagues from RIX research created a live wiki page and filmed to make us a video of the event and seminar. The picture below shows Andy and Sam updating the Wiki.

Andy and Sam wiki and shells

Andy and Sam wiki and shells

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture below shows a screen grab of Kelly and Adalana’s wiki diary entries for the Showcase you can read more diaries and our co researchers thoughts on our co-researchers wiki

Kelly’s Diary of the showcse day

Kelly’s Diary of the showcse day

Adalana diary of Showcase Day

Adalana diary of Showcase Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many of Orson Nava’s great photos captured the day for us, the picture below shows Adalana showing her Sensory Label to a museum visitor, he was smelling a lovely perfume, listening to the sound of crystals and diamonds.  Adalana discovered that the diamond she had chosen had been removed from the Enlightenment Collection but her Sensory Label gave people an idea of the missing diamond.

Adalana shows her Sensory Label to visitor

Adalana shows her Sensory Label to visitor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture below show the texture of Ashley’s label being felt. Ashley chose a stuffed Golden Pheasent as his object. He had sounds of the bird call which were very effective and loud, his smell was oranges.

Ashley shows Kassie his Sensory Label

Ashley shows Kassie his Sensory Label

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sensory Labels were enjoyed by all ages, the picture below shows shows Sam demonstrating her Sensory Label of a shell that reminded Sam of her mum living by the sea.

Sam demos sensory labels

Sam demos sensory labels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture below shows feeling the texture of Sam’s Sensory Label, the smell was a smell of seaside.

Sam demos sensory Label

Sam demos sensory Label

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture below shows Judith with school group trying her Sensory Label of a leather African slipper. Sounds are triggered by bending a leather slipper she had made with a bend sensor embedded in the sole. The smell of the Sensory Label was leather.

Judith shows school group

Judith shows school group

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture below shows listening to Kelly’s Sensory Label telling the story of the statue of Paris. There were sounds of fighting, rain and the smell was aftershave.

More listening to Kellys box

More listening to Kellys box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two pictures below shows visitors with Ryan and his Sensory Label about two Chinese plates that reminded him of his nan. The box smell was roses and the sounds were smashing plates and Chinese opera.

Ryan demos sensory labels

Ryan demos sensory labels

Listening to Ryans Sesnory Label

Listening to Ryans Sesnory Label

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictures below show Tim demonstrating his Sensory Label based on a miniature Egyptian Mummy. Tim’s label has sounds of Egyptian music, camels and the safety instructions given by air stewards at the start of a flight. Tim had drawn a plane for his label as it reminded him of going to visit Egypt on a plane. Tim’s box smell was Egyptian perfume.

Tim showing his sensory label

Tim showing his sensory label

 Listening Tim’s Sensory Label

Listening Tim’s Sensory Label

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture below shows Michael showing his Sensory Label based on a large bowl that he researched an found out it was a wine cooler. Michel imagined eating Chicken and Chips in this giant bowl. His label smell was Vinegar and the sounds were of eating, slurping, frying and cereal being poured into a bowl.

Michael demos his sensory label

Michael demos his sensory label

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture below shows a visitor smelling the smell of beer and cheese and onion crisps, as Justin described it the “smell of success” in his Sensory Label. The picture below also shows the Warwick Vase, Justin’s chosen object, which reminded him of the FA cup and his love of Liverpool Football team. The sound for his label was a montage of football commentaries about Liverpool.

Justin’s Sensory Label

Justin’s Sensory Label

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture below shows Justin’s Sensory Label proving a hit with a visitor.

Justins box a Hit

Justins box a Hit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture below shows a visitor listening to another football fan, Julie chose a Heron from the collection because it reminded her of the Tottenham Hotspur Football cockerel logo. The sound track included the sound of a Blue Heron fishing in a lake, Julie making a tweet sound and singing with the Tottenham Hotspur team song. Julie’s Sensory Label smell was fish! which was a bit of a surprise for many.

Julie and her Sensory Label

Julie and her Sensory Label

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture below shows a visitor smelling the sea in Adjoa’s Sensory Label. Adjoa chose a coral because she likes the sea. The sounds Adjoa chose were the sea and Handel’s Water Music.

Smelling Adojas Label

Smelling Adojas Label

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pictures below show Katy’s sensory label, Katy’s object was a snake. Katy wanted her label to have a snake being charmed out of it’s basket, the sound is snake charming music and she wanted the smell of grass. The label has a light sensor embedded so when you open the lid the light triggers the snake to move slowly up. The light levels in the Enlightenment Gallery proved just too low for the sensor to work so we used a torch, which proved to create great engagement for the visitor.

All at table

Katy and her Sensory Label

Katy and Mark charm the snake

Katy and Mark charm the snake

 

A charming the snake

A charming the snake

Katys box snake being charmed

Katy’s snake being charmed with light from a torch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture below shows the phone sound box containing all 12 co-researcher sounds, the smell is Cadbury’s Chocolate the smell chosen to celebrate Sir Hans Sloane and his addition of milk to Drinking Chocolate.

The collected sounds phone box

The collected sounds phone box

 

Matt and Andy try phone box

Matt and Andy try phone box

Listening to sounds on phone

Listening to sounds on phone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture below shows Julie and Michael discussing their labels with Jane Samuels at the time the The British Museums Access and Equality Manager.Julie Michael and Jane

 

 

 

The Aura of a Sensory Object by Matthew Goodsell

The Aura of a Sensory Object

In the writing of Walter Benjamin, we find the concept of the ‘aura’, a special distancing or abstraction certain objects have. He describes it as ”the unique phenomenon of a distance, however close it may be”, going on to explain ”If, while resting on a summer afternoon, you follow with your eyes a mountain range on the horizon or a branch which casts its shadow over you, you experience the aura of those mountains, of that branch.” It is a remoteness, an eery foreignness. Benjamin was, of course, dealing with the photograph; pictures may also have a punctic effect, to use Barthes‘ term, wounding the viewer in a way he cannot quite articulate. That which is special to some appears ordinary to others, and thus to some have an aura.

It is this disconnect in perception that interests us. For a person with learning difficulties, an object may have a value or significance others cannot fathom. The person cannot say why the object is significant, and this causes a difference in perception we might call a type of aura. The person to whom the object is significant may see the tree, yet can only tell others of the shadow. It is through these objects, whose significance may be hidden from us, that we are left to reconstruct the discourse of learning disability history. Inasmuch as it is, in part, shrouded from us because it cannot be articulated as it usually would be, it is an auric discourse. We who observe from without are distanced from it, yet are fascinated to explore this mysterious terrain.

In effect these objects have a contingent: an extra specialness or relevance that the owner cannot articulate. This may explain their fixation. This is not a fetishisation in the usual sense, where an object or detail is fixated upon for unconscious reasons which go beyond articulation and can only be explored through psychoanalysis; the persons inability to explain his or her attraction is due to other factors, yet the result is exactly the same. In both cases, the reasons behind the attraction cannot be rendered in the symbolic.

You can read more of Matts writing on his blog HERE. The picture below shows Matt experiencing Sam’s Sensory Label during the Sensory Objects Showcase at The British Museum.

Matt with Sam’s Sensory Label

Matt with Sam’s Sensory Label

Tower Project at the RIX centre Session Sixteen 04.02.15

The picture below shows the Easy Read programme for session sixteen.

Tower Project Session SIXTEEN.doc

Tower Project Session SIXTEEN

The picture below shows our co-researchers adding smells to their Sensory Labels.

Group at work putting smells in Sensory Labels

Group at work putting smells in Sensory Labels

Then they practiced showing the Sensory Labels to the public, Luke the RIX new intern from Pennsylvania agreed to be our audience as he knew little about the project. He soon found out about everyones object and label! The picture below show Kelly show Luke her Sensory Label based on the statue of Paris in the Enlightenment Gallery.

Kelly demos her Sensory Label

Kelly demos her Sensory Label

The picture below shows Ryan demoing his  Sensory Label.

Ryan demos label

Ryan demos label

The picture below shows Michael showing Lukc his Sensory Label.

Michaels sensory label

Michaels sensory label

The picture below shows Justin demonstrating his Sensory Label

Justin and Sensory Label

Justin and Sensory Label

The picture below shows Judith trying the Phone box that contains all the sound tracks of the Tower Group

Judith tests box

Judith with here sensory label trying the joint sound box

Tower Project Showcase Event at The British Museum on Wednesday 11th February in The Enlightenment Gallery 11am – 3pm

Members of the Sensory Objects research project invite you to try out their newly developed interactive Sensory Labels of selected objects in the Enlightenment Gallery at The British Museum on Wednesday 11th February in The Enlightenment Gallery 11am – 3pm.

These Sensory Labels have been co-developed by people with learning difficulties and disabilities from the Tower Project London, working as co-researchers; they form part of an interdisciplinary team from The University of Reading and RIX Research and Media at the University of East London.

The Sensory Objects project creates multisensory interactive artworks that respond to museum collections and generate alternative ideas for museum interpretation. The image below is a poster containing this text, advertising the event.

POSTER TOWER PROJECT SHOWCASE EVENT

POSTER TOWER PROJECT SHOWCASE EVENT

The image below is the easy read programme for the Showcase Event Day.

 Event invite BRITISH MUSEUM Easy Read

Event invite BRITISH MUSEUM Easy Read

Sensory Objects Co-researchers at the first ‘Sandpit Workshop’ of the Living Archive for Learning Disability History Project

The Sandpit day was organised to combine showcasing of work with and by people with Learning Disabilities with interactive demonstrations and activities designed to get discussion and debate going about what a Living Archive of Learning Disability History should be like. Find out more about the research project  here 

Sam sounds showing

Sam sounds from her Sensory Label

Feeling TIms Sensory Label image of plane

Feeling Tims Sensory Label image of plane

Sensory Objects Co-researchers from the Tower Project were invited to host a Sensory Objects room. Judith, Sam and Tim represented the Tower project demonstrating sensory objects from the 3 years of the Sensory Objects project, including their newly developed Sensory Labels. Katy’s Sensory Label was also shown. Our Co-researchers also demoed littlebits used in workshops to understand triggers.

Tim explains littlebits

Tim explains littlebits

Sniffing snake in grass box

Sniffing Katy’s  snake in grass box

Sam and her box

Sam and her box

Sensory Objects Sandpit with Harry

Sensory Objects Sandpit with Harry

From the Sandpit day we learnt about the importance of creating an archive of Learning Disability History. Of importance to the Sensory Objects project was the desire by people in discussion that the physical quality of the Living Archive needs to be preserved. People were keen that the archive took various forms so that it would be accessible for everyone, from a digital archive to some kind of physical sensory archive.

 

 

 

Tower Project at the RIX centre Session Fifteen 10.12.14

We met to discuss the progress of our Sensory Labels, John who runs the Tower Project came to the session.

Tower Project Discuss

Tower Project Discuss

First we had a report from the Engage Conference by Tim and Judith.

Judith and Tim report from the Engage Conference in Bristol

Judith and Tim report from the Engage Conference in Bristol

Nic discussed with the group the progress of the Sensory Label triggers.

Nic demos the progress of the Sensory Labels

Nic demos the progress of the Sensory Labels

We tested some aromas for the Sensory Labels smell compartment.

testing smells in the box

testing smells in the box

Noelle helped our Co-researchers record thoughts about their chosen objects for the Sensory Label soundscape.

Recording Soundscapes

Recording Soundscapes

Recording Adalana

Recording Adalana

Judith showed John from Tower Project her Sensory Label and we discussed how our Co-researchers could take part in some peer learning with others from the Tower Project holding their own sensory label workshop.

Judith shows John a sensory label

Judith shows John her sensory label

 

Sensory Objects present at ENGAGE 2014 Conference

The Sensory Objects project was represented by co-researchers Judith Appiah and Tim Elson supported by Beverley Agard from the Tower Project, who co-presented with Nic and Kate at ENGAGE 2014 conference in Bristol. The picture below shows Judith and Tim preparing for the presentation with Beverley on the train to Bristol.

Preparatory Work on Train

Preparatory Work on Train

We arrived just at the Bristol Marriot Royal Hotel just in time for lunch where we met up with Nic. The picture below shows all at lunch.

Lunch at conference

Lunch at conference

Our presentation was at 2pm we presented work from the three years of the project then had a hands-on workshop. The picture below shows Tim and Judith presenting.

Tim and Judith Present

Tim and Judith Present

We showed some of the work from MERL, Sian’s mooing boot and Rumena’s Chicken. Judith explained about her chosen object, a pair of leather slippers, African treasure and how she has made her sensory label. As we were presenting our audience were tweeting so some of the the images below show the tweeted response from the audience.

How Judith developed her sensory label

How Judith developed her sensory label

Judith invited people to try her sensory label.

Judith sensory label

Judith sensory label

Judith Pic

Judith Pic

Next Tim spoke about the development of his Sensory Label. He showed a slide of the miniature sarcophagus in the Enlightenment Gallery and explained using his wiki his research of the object and how he had drawn an aeroplane because it reminded him of flying to Eygpt.

Tweet of Tims presentation

Tweet of Tims presentation

Tweet of Tims plane

Tweet of Tims plane

Tim invited the audience to try out his sensory label the picture below shows the audience tweet.

Tweet of Tim’s Box

Tweet of Tim’s Box

We told the audience about some of the other ideas for Sensory Labels including Justin’s ideas for the Warwick Vase reminding him of the FA cup and that he wants the smell of his box to be the smell of Cheese and Onion crisps and Beer as he thinks of this as the smell of success! This made people laugh and a response on Twitter, where some people liked the idea of the smell one did not. The picture below shows the discussion.

Cheese and Onion Crisps and Beer

Cheese and Onion Crisps and Beer

Then we moved on to the hands on workshop part of the presentation we invited the audience to tryout some of the tools we have used in our workshops to help understand triggers, controlling sounds with sensors. We demonstrated Squishy Circuits, littleBits, sound boxes and littleBits go Large.

LittleBits go LARGE demo

LittleBits go LARGE demo

The picture below shows a tweet during the demos of little bits go LARGE.

Tweet Enjoying handson workshop

Tweet Enjoying handson workshop

Tim and Judith sat at a table each and demonstrated how little bits and little bits go LARGE work while Nic explained more about the research ideas behind the workshop. The pictures below show everyone during the hands on workshop.

Workshop with bits

Workshop with bits

TIm during littleBits workhsop

TIm during littleBits workhsop

TIm demos littleBits

TIm demos littleBits

Judith shows triggers

Judith and Nic demo little Bits go LARGE

After the workshop we went listen to a presentation by Mohit Bakaya a commissioning editor for BBC Radio 4. He spoke about the need to widen the types of people presenting programmes to widen the audience who listen to Radio 4. We wondered if he would commission Sensory Object to make a programme?

Listening to Mohit Bakaya from Radio 4

Listening to Mohit Bakaya from Radio 4

Listening at the Conference

Listening at the Conference

We found the conference a really valuable experience, we learnt a lot and found the audience in our presentation were really ‘engaged’ asking lots of interesting  questions and were keen to find out more about the Sensory Objects project, discuss new ideas and opportunities. The picture below shows Tim, Judith and Bev about to leave the conference hotel.

Hotel with Tim Bev and Judith

Hotel with Tim Bev and Judith

 

 

 

Tower Project at the RIX centre Session Fourteen 26.11.14

The picture below shows the easy read programme for session fourteen.

Tower Project FOURTEEN

Tower Project FOURTEEN

First we looked at Tower Project Wikis. Our co-researchers have been busy researching information about their object in the Enlightenment Gallery at The British Musuem. The picture below shows the group looking at their Wiki.

Group look at wiki research pages

Group look at wiki research pages

Each co-researcher had prepared something to say about their object ready to record for the soundtrack of their sensory label.

Tims wiki text to record

Tims wiki text to record

The picture below shows recording each co-researcher.

Recording info about objects

Recording info about objects

The picture below shows Nic demonstrating the latest version of the sensory label. This one had an engraved image of Sam on it.

Nic shows latest version of sensory labels

Nic shows latest version of sensory labels

The picture below shows Sam feeling her engraved wood drawing with her eyes closed.

Sam feels her drawing

The picture below shows everyone looking at the smell container inside the label box.

Group discussing boxes

Group discussing boxes

The picture below shows Sam with the seaweed Noelle brought in from Brighten. Everyone smelt the seaweed it smelt very strong!

Sam with Seaweed

Sam with Seaweed

Some of the group still needed  to decide how their sounds would be triggered. The picture below shows Adalana trying out different switches to trigger her sound. We are also looking for some more sounds for Adalana as the Music Box sound we have sounded too much like an Ice Cream Van!

Adalana Sensory Postcard

Adalana Sensory Postcard

Kelly and Judith are shown in the picture below researching triggers with littleBits.

Trigger Research

Trigger Research

Tower Project at the RIX centre Session Thirteen 12.11.14

Below is the easy read programme for session thirteen.

TOWER PROJECT 13

TOWER PROJECT 13

We had a catch up meeting. We heard about the Tower Project creating and being on a float of the Lord Mayors Show, the picture below shows the group looking at BBC video footage of the event.

Group watch video of the Lord Mayors Show

Group watch video of the Lord Mayors Show

Then we discussed our our co-presentation at the Diversity in Heritage Meeting where Judith and Tim co-presented our research with Nic and Kate. The picture below shows the group looking at a Mercury Bulb on display in the Cinema Museum.

Talking about Cinema Museum

Talking about Cinema Museum

Then we looked at the co-researchers Wikis they had been very busy researching their chosen objects at the Enlightenment Gallery and adding to their Wiki in the Research Section. The pictures below shows some images of the Wiki research pages, Michael researched about the bowl he chose which he found it very difficult to find any information about. He imagined eating chicken and chips in the bowl. Julies research explained that she chose a stuffed Heron from the collection as it reminded her of the symbol for Tottenham Hotspur! The picture below shows Julies football shirt.discussing sensory ojects

Michaels bowl

Michaels bowl

Why Julie chose a Heron

Why Julie chose a Heron

Then we discussed developing the sensory labels further feeling the wood panels in the picture below.

feeling surface of sensory labels

feeling surface of sensory labels

Tim demoed his box the sound was triggered by tilting the box or by a touch sensor.

Tim demos his box

Tim demos his box

We discussed how everyone would like to trigger sounds. The picture below show Adjoa exploring how to trigger sound.

Hearing sound from the box

Hearing sound from the box

Adjoa tests box

Adjoa tests box

We also tried out some other smells

More smells to test

More smells to test

Nic and Kassie worked with Tim, Michael, Sam and Katy to research various types of triggers the pictures below show Tim and Michael at work and a close up of a set of triggers Nic had made to help discover and chose how things should trigger.

Finding out about Triggers

Finding out about Triggers

Switch test Box

Switch test Box

Sensory Objects Present at the Diversity in Heritage Group Meeting 30.10.14

We presented our Sensory Objects research at the Diversity in Heritage Group Meeting held at the Cinema Museum, London, the picture below shows the agenda of the meeting.

 Agenda for Heritage and Diversity Meeting

Agenda for Heritage and Diversity Meeting

We co-presented our research with Judith and Tim representing the Tower Project with their support worker Bev, Kate and Nic also presented and Kassie filmed and helped with the hands on workshop part of the session. The picture below shows Tim and Judith preparing for the meeting with Bev and Kassie.

Judith and Tim prepare

Judith and Tim prepare

The pictures below show members of the Diversity in Heritage Meeting and Poppy who was leading the meeting.

Poppy and members of the H&D group

Poppy and members of the H&D group

Members of the Heritage and Diversity Group

Members of the Heritage and Diversity Group

Before the meeting we were given a tour of the Cinema Museum the picture below shows members of the meeting during the tour.

Tour Cinema Museum

Tour Cinema Museum

During Guided Tour of the Cinema Museum

During Guided Tour of the Cinema Museum

The picture below shows members of the sensory objects team presenting our research.

Presentation by Sensory Objects

Presentation by Sensory Objects

The video below has some edited highlights from our presentation

 

 

Tower Project at the RIX centre Session Twelve 22.10.14

Below is the updated version of the easy read programme from Session 12. I have changed the dates at the end so the next session has the correct date when we will have our next session on the 12th November at the RIX.

Tower Project Session TWELEVE

Tower Project Session TWELEVE

This session we explored smells that we could use inside our sensory label boxes. Working from the list the co-researchers had made last week

List of smells

List of smells

here are ideas for smells so far Tim: Incense or some essential oil of Frankincense, Judith: Leather, Julie:Fish, Justin: Cheese and Onion Crisps and Beer, Michael; Chicken Stock Cube, this wasn’t quite right as Michael was imagining fried chicken, so we will try vinegar, Ryan: Flowers, Kelly: Aftershave, Katy: Hay and grass, Ashley: Oranges Debbie suggested Orange soap might be good, Adalana: Still not sure, we suggested perfume? Sam and Adjoa: Seaweed which we hope Noelle will bring from Brighten. We discussed ideas for containing the smells in a small containers with some kind of lid that would slide or lift off so the smell could be controlled otherwise all the smells together made a very strange smell mix. The salt fish was the most pongy!

Smelling Smells

Smelling Smells

After smell we listened to some of the sounds for the boxes, Julie showed her Heron Sensory Label with her own sound see video below.

Everyone did some more work on their Sensory Labels.

WorkingonSensoryLabels2

Working on Sensory Labels

After lunch were started to take some photo of our co-researchers with artwork for their sensory labels. These images will be printed and put on one side of the wooden box. The video below shows Mark taking a group shot first.

After lunch and photos, the group met Poppy Szaybo who is Head of London Programmes, Diversity Heritage Group, and an Independent Consultant, Curator, Creative Practitioner. The group showed her their wiki site and this webpage to explain some of the research activities they have done as a co-researchers on the Sensory Objects Project.

Poppy and group

Poppy and group

 

 

Tower Project at the RIX centre Session Eleven 15.10.14

Here is the easy read programme for the day

Tower Project ELEVEN

Tower Project ELEVEN

 

We did not follow the plan completely as we were visited by some people from the University of East London’s publicity department, they had heard about the Sensory Objects project and wanted to feature it on some of the University publicity. They interviewed some of our co-researchers, filmed and photographed our session see picture below.

UEL VISITORS

UEL VISITORS

We discussed our visit to The British Museum, using audio guides and making a map of our sensory  labels. Most of our group enjoyed hearing the woman speaking on the audio guide although some found it hard to use. Our group enjoyed discovering where each others object was located and many had suggested ideas for the guide on the wiki website.

Talking about the Wiki

Talking about the Wiki

We also looked at the wood laser cut engravings drawing by our co-researchers. Find out more about the process here

drawing engravings2

drawing engravings2

drawing engravings

drawing engravings

We realised that some of the drawing with thicker lines worked better so we asked for some of them to be drawn again. The picture below shows Ashley drawing his bird again, he drew a very good bird but we asked him to draw it again with a thinker pen, Sam is also shown drawing a shell.

Ashley and Sam draw pics

Ashley and Sam draw pics

Nic showed the group a wooden version of the sensory label.

sensory object box

sensory object box

We continued to create sensory artwork for the labels, we discussed how to incorporate the objects we have been making into the labels. As our sensory labels give very personal interpretations of our chosen objects from the Enlightenment Gallery we discussed if it would be a good idea to have a photo of each Co-researcher on one side of the box and I suggested we could photograph each co-researcher with the sensory art work they have been making. The picture below shows a mockup of a box with Adjoa on onside holding her sensory art work about the coral she chose. Adjoa made the shape in clay imbedded with beeswax. On the other side would be Adjoa’s wood engraving. The box would make sounds of the sea and have the smell of the sea.

Adjoa with her sensory artwork on box

Adjoa with her sensory artwork on box

Julie and Judith feeling wood panel

Julie and Judith feeling wood panel

Ryans box shows the two Chinese plates he had chosen. He  imagines eating on them and one of them smashing.The picture below shows the broken plate he made from clay and buttons. He has also collected sounds of plates crashing and would like the smell of flowers to come from his sensory label box.

Ryans broken Plate

Ryans broken Plate

 

Tower Project at The British Museum Session Ten 08.10.14

Here is the easy read programme for session ten at The British Museum.

Tower Project TEN

Tower Project TEN Easy Read Programme

We tried out the Audio Tour of the Enlightenment Gallery at the British Museum. We did this research in response to some of our co-researchers idea to create an audio guide for the objects they had chosen. Below are images of the group using the Audio Tour.

Using Audio Guides

Using Audio Guides

Listening to the Audio Tour

Listening to the Audio Tour

Our 12 objects chosen by our co-researchers were different from the 10 on the Audio Guide.

Using Audio Tour of Enlightenment Gallery

Using Audio Tour of Enlightenment Gallery

Our Co-researchers will reflect on their experiences in our next session. After lunch our co-researchers were given a sheet with images of the artwork they have made in response to their chosen objects. They had to recognise who’s work it was, what object is represented and draw a guide to where it could be found on a plan of the Enlightenment Gallery. Below in an image of the sheet.

Everyones Object in Enlightenment Gallery

Everyones Object in Enlightenment Gallery

The picture below shows Adalana, Justin, Michael and Tim working with the sheet and Judith showing off her completed sheet. The sheet was to help our co-researchers think about how we will guide the public to their sensory labels on our event day. Sam had mentioned she enjoyed trails and guides, often designed for children to discover museums, Sam said that people with learning difficulties would also enjoy this format if it was designed for adults.

Sensory Labels Hunt

Sensory Labels Hunt

Picture below shows some of the Sensory Objects research team waving in the Enlightenment Gallery, our group waving makes a good composition with the statue behind. Thanks to Adam photographer from the Tower Project for the picture.

Tower Project Wave at British Museum

Sensory Objects research team wave at British Museum

 

Tower Project at The Rix Centre Session Nine 01.10.14

Here is the easy read programme for session nine

TOWER PROJECT SESSION NINE

TOWER PROJECT SESSION NINE

Nic talked about some ideas of cause and effect or triggers and outputs.

Nic demo Cause and Effect

Nic demo Cause and Effect

Nic had a box that played music when you took the lid off

Music Box

Music Box

Katy tries a pressure sensor that made a sound when pressed.

Katy tries pressure sensor

Katy tries pressure sensor

Michael tried sensors attached to a grape and a banana, when he touch the fruit once it turned sound on and off

Michael tries interactive banana and grape

Michael tries interactive banana and grape

Justin tried interactive/conductive paint, Ryan had painted a line with it earlier when dry Justin touched it and it turned sound on and off.

Justin trying interactive paint

Justin trying interactive paint

Next the group drew an image of their chosen object from the Enlightenment Gallery so they could be laser printed to make an interesting raised surface texture like Tim had made last week.

Drawing Enlightenment Object

Drawing Enlightenment Object

Katy Snake Drawn and 3d

Katy Snake Drawn and 3d

Our Co-researchers also worked on 3d elements of their sensory labels using various media including air hardening clay.

Ashley’s Bird

Ashley’s Bird

Kellys Statue

Kellys Statue

Adalana’s Ring

Adalana’s Ring

Judith’s FlipFlop

Judith’s FlipFlop

Ryan’s Plates

Ryan’s Plates

Justin’s Cup

Justin’s Cup

Michael’s Bowl

Michael’s Bowl

Our Co-researchers also collected sounds related to their chosen object online to create a soundscape.

 

Justin and Adalana collect sounds

Justin and Adalana collect sounds

Tower Project at The Rix Centre Session Eight 24.09.14

Below is the programme for session eight. Find out more on our co-researchers Wiki

TOWER PROJECT EIGHT

TOWER PROJECT EIGHT

First we had a discussion about ideas for our event bringing sensory labels to the Enlightenment Gallery, we asked the group for their thoughts. There were many ideas including creating an audio guide of sensory soundscapes to link to chosen objects suggested by Judith and having a living statue which was Kelly’s idea when asked what conversation she would have with the statue she had chosen she said “somebody get me out of this museum I’ve been stuck in here for years!”. Sam wanted to create some kind of game where the goal is to discover the sensory labels in the gallery rather than have a guide map, she mentioned that there is often something like this for children but that people with learning disabilities would enjoy this too. Tim suggested we should have flags of the countries where the objects we have chosen come from to direct people to our sensory lables. Kate took notes of all the ideas and we will work on them over the next few weeks.

Discussion about sensory labels

Discussion about sensory labels

Nic gave a demo of triggers, he explained that a sound or movement on our sensory labels, currently triggered by a black button, could be triggered by stroking, he used Sian from Reading College’s Moot Boot to demonstrate the idea. The picture below shows Ryan stroking the Moot it moos when the fake fur cow hide is stroked. Nic also demoed Rachel’s pig which was triggered by a proximity sensor so when the person stood in front of it the sound and movement of the pig was triggered.

Stroking the Moot

Stroking the Moot

Nic also wanted to see if anyone remembered how some of the sensors worked from last week. He showed Adalana as she missed the last session.

Nic demos Triggers

Nic demos Trigger

The picture below shows Adjoa and Ryan demoing creating sounds with the littleBits synth kit.

Trying out Syth Kit

Trying out Syth Kit

Tim showed his Egyptian hieroglyph to the group. He had drawn a picture inspired by his object a small wooden Egyptian sarcophagus. He wanted to draw a modern object a plane in the style of Egyptian hieroglyphs, he also wrote his name. We then took a photo of his drawing and engraved the image in wood using a laser cutter. The drawing surface now embossed could be felt and it also had the smell of burnt wood.

Tim plane engraved

Tim’s plane engraved

We then worked more creating textures and sounds for our sensory labels. Adoja showed how she had used air hardening clay to create a model of the coral she has chosen she also added in some beeswax because it reminded her of the surface texture of the coral.

Adjoa with her model of coral

Adjoa with her model of coral

Katy, Ashley, Kelly and Ryan all made models with air hardening clay.

Clay work

Clay work

We also began to find sounds to build soundscapes for each object we will continue with this next week.

 

Tower Project at The Rix Centre Session Seven 17.09.14

Below is the easy read programme for session seven.

Tower project Workshop SEVEN programme

Tower project Workshop SEVEN programme

We split into two groups, group A was Investigating littleBits go LARGE the video below shows some short clips of the investigation as we tried to find out how easy it was to understand the pink output devices were and if we could add something visual to aid understanding. Our UROP (Undergraduate research opportunity placement) student Kassie introduced the session, the clip shows the group trying a light sensor.

Group B began to explore further the idea of a Sensory Label exploring textures, smells and sounds.

Sensory Labels Workshop

Sensory Labels Workshop

 

Sensory Labels Workshop2

Sensory Labels Workshop2

Tim’s Hieroglphs

Tim’s Hieroglphs

Tim had a go at  about making his own Hieroglyphic’s inspired by the Egyptian mummy he chose. We discussed how we could use the laser cutter at the University of Reading to engrave it into wood. The picture below shows Tim’s drawing of a plane and name done in the style of Hieroglyphs.

Tower Project at The British Museum Session Six 10.09.14

Below is the programme of our session

Tower Project Session SIX

Tower Project Session SIX

Our session was held at The British Museum, their Access and Equality Manager, Jane Samuels, introduced us to Judy Joseph an ESOL tutor (English for Speakers of Other Languages).

JudymeetsTOWER

Jane introduces Judy to the Tower Project

Judy picked out several objects from the Enlightenment Gallery, our Co-researchers really enjoyed the session and were able to concentrate really well.

Judy Enlightenment

Judy Enlightenment

Judy explained the history and geography of the objects and also added some sensory information including a sachet of drinking chocolate that Judy brought out when we looked at chocolate cups in the collection.

chocolate cups

Chocolate cups from Sir Hans Sloane’s collection

Judy explained It was Sir Hans Sloane who introduced milk chocolate for drinking. He had drunk chocolate while working as a doctor in the West Indies, but found it ‘nauseous and hard of digestion’. So he made it taste nicer by boiling the beans with milk and sugar.

Judy also told us about Sir Hans Sloane’s medical specimen collection. Judy added sensory information including spices such as nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon bark and explained how they were used as medicine. For example Judy described how clove oil was used to help soothe toothache.

Judy Specimens and Spices

Judy Specimens and Spices

Judy also told us about a wooden shoe from India, Judy asked who would wear the shoe? It would be worn by someone rich who didn’t have to walk very far as it would be very difficult to walk in.

Shoe Collection

Shoe Collection

Judy showed us a replica of the Rosetta Stone, she asked the group if they could find a label saying you could touch the replica. The group found it under the stone it was quite hard to find, then we all touched the stone, some tapped the stone and we found the replica sounded hollow as it was made of fiberglass. We learnt about the languages on the stone, Greek, Demotic and Hieroglyphic and how the stone holds the key to understanding Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Touching Replica Rosetta

Touching Replica Rosetta

After lunch we went to look at the original Rosetta Stone in room 4 the picture below shows the stone in its glass case.

Group visit RosettaStoneOriginal

Group visit RosettaStoneOriginal

There were many people in the gallery looking at the stone, you could not touch this one.

RosettaStoneReal

After Judy’s tour our Co-researchers continued to gather information to create sensory labels for a chosen object in the Enlightenment Gallery. We had a new member of the group Ashley he chose a stuffed Rat.

Ashley chose a Rat

Ashley chose a Rat

The picture below shows some of the objects the group has chosen, Sam continues to be interested in shells, Judith in the leather bag and sandals and I think Adelana looked at more rings.

Objects chosen by Sam, Julia and Adalana

Objects chosen by Sam, Julia and Adalana

Tower Project at the Rix Centre Five 03.09.14

Tower Project Session Five

Tower Project Session Five

We met at the Rix Centre after a break over August. Our Co-researchers did some independent research visiting the London Transport Museum trying out our Sensory Activities book.

Discussing Transport Museum Visit

Discussing Transport Museum Visit

We started our session with hearing about the visit looking at the updates on the wiki webpage updated by our co-researchers. Our Co-researchers really enjoyed their visit, they noted down some general access issues, to do with ramps and size of lifts etc. We discussed the need to focus on the sensory nature of our project. The group had picked out things that they enjoyed, such as having ago with a ticket machine that actually produced an old bus ticket, some mentioned music playing by some of the exhibits, and a handle to crank to help understand how wheels work on a bus.

We discussed the sensory activities book focussing on the Sensory Expeditions cartoon page. We had 2 new names of the book suggested by our co-researchers ‘Recipe Book or Index. Some people found the image of the camera misleading as it looked like a radio, the big nose on the smell cartoon was mistaken as Pinocchio, they asked why the cartoon had no eyes? Someone asked why there was a mouse in the picture?

SensoryExpeditionVer2

SensoryExpeditionVer2

After lunch we didn’t follow our planned programme, we introduced the sound boxes

SoundBoxesIntro

SoundBoxesIntro

and started to learn about electronics and triggering information with Squishy Circuits, we asked the group to create a trigger for a light and a buzzer by creating a circuit and breaking the circuit.

Working with Squishys

Working with Squishys

We also started to think about how we could add some sensory information to the enlightenment gallery. Everyone was given a postcard that could record a sound. We asked our co-researchers to think about what sounds, stories, tactile materials, images or even smells we could use to enhance our experiences of the chosen object from the Enlightenment Gallery, the idea is to develop some kind of sensory label rather than a text label.

Working Sound Cards

Working Sound Cards

The picture below shows posit notes with ideas from the co-researchers for sensory post cards.

Notes on Sensory Labels

Notes on Sensory Labels

Sensory Objects Research Presented at the Inclusive Museum Conference

Kate and Nic gave a hands on presentation of the Sensory Objects project to the Inclusive Museums Conference at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles. We sent a big box containing Sensory Objects developed by our Co-researchers from Reading College at MERL and also the Access to Heritage Group in Liverpool. We showed slides and videos of our current group from the Tower Project at the British Museum to explain our project conference attendees. We met people from all over the world who were interested in our project. The pictures below show some of them trying out the objects you can see Phillip and Johns scrapbooks of Sudley House Liverpool, Sians mooing boot and Rachel’s Pink grunting Pig and Nic explaining our ideas of using Squishy Circuits, littleBits and our research with littleBits go LARGE.

Inclusive Museums Presentation Sensory Objects

Inclusive Museums Presentation Sensory Objects

Sensory Objects Presenation Nic at InMusCon

Sensory Objects Presenation Nic at the Inclusive Museum Conference

During the conference there were many talks and discussions often all happening at once. One of the most inspiring talks, I thought, was by Nina Simon, she wrote a book that helped give shape to our sensory objects project The Participatory Museum. Below are some images she used during her talk about Santa Cruz Museum where she is working at now. Her talk showed her ideas and experiences of making the museum a place where everyone can feel welcome and take part. She mentioned Pop Up Museums and also the idea of the museum acting as a place for people to have conversations, bringing unlikely people together, she described it as ‘bridging’ the two people bottom left of the picture are a lady who knits and a graffiti artist who meet during a workshop at the museum and really got on.

Presentation Nina Simon

Presentation Nina Simon

During the talk Nina mentioned some of the problems of making the museum more participatory, that some people in the community accuse her of dumbing down the museum, she illustrated the problem by showing this cartoon below. You can’t please everyone, in the cartoon a character called MAH that Nina said represented her is telling Michelangelo that his painting of the Sistine Chapel is “a bit passive and that he must engage the visitor, leave room for the visitors to colour in your work with crayons or paint ball! you know…. dumb down your work!” Nina mentioned that by widening the audience to the museum you will also alienate people who enjoyed it as it was, but attendance and participation in the Santa Cruz Museum continues to rise and generate income because of her ideas of inclusion.

Nina Simon Cartoon

Nina Simon Cartoon

The video below shows Nina giving a talk which has similar content to the presentation at the Inclusive Museums Conference.

Tower Project at The British Museum Session Four 30.07.14

During this session the group discussed objects they had seen at the British Museum in the Enlightenment Gallery. Below is the programme for the day.

Tower Project Programme Session 4

Tower Project Programme Session 4

Carly one of two PhD students contributing to the Sensory Objects Project led a session to reflect on the objects chosen from the Enlightenment Gallery. The picture below is an example of one of our Co-researchers Justin choosing his object in the Enlightenment Gallery, a silver replica of the Warwick Vase, he chose the vase because it reminded him of a football trophy, when asked to describe why he chose it he held the Warwick Vase above his head.

Justin and the Warwick Vase

Justin and the Warwick Vase

One by one our co-researchers presented their chosen objects to the rest of the group  and shared their thoughts on this object (why they liked it, what they imagined it would feel/smell like etc)….Our visitors from Austria shared their chosen objects they also presented some drawings and thoughts about the objects, this was their final session with the group.

Austrian visitors Present Ideas

Austrian visitors Present Ideas

Then Carly asked our co-researchers to imagine they had a piece of clay in their hands and ask them to sculpt their object out of this imaginary clay.

Carly demos invisible Clay

Carly demos invisible Clay

Some of the  group said how much they disliked real clay because it was too messy, but imaginary clay was nice and clean.

Working with imaginary clay

Working with imaginary clay

The group were really good at remembering and imagining what size the object they had chosen was, what shape it was, if it was smooth/rough etc…

Passing invisible clay object

Passing invisible clay object

When their object was complete Carly asked us to imagine our object had become really heavy, and we had to hand it to the next person, then we imagined it being really light.

Making objects with imaginary clay

Making objects with imaginary clay

After lunch the group were asked to upload their pictures on to our wiki webpage and add thoughts about the objects they have chosen from the Enlightenment Gallery. Our Co-researchers were going to carry out some independent research during August using our Sensory Expedition book. We had a vote to decide which museum our group would visit, the group chose the Transport Museum and our co-researchers would add information about the visit to the Wiki ready for discussion on our next session on Sept 3rd.

Tower Project at The British Museum Session THREE 23.07.14

Tower Project Sensory Object co-researchers visit The British Museum focussing on the the Enlightenment Gallery, we were joined by visitors to the Rix Centre from Austria.

TowerProject at British Museum

TowerProject at The British Museum

Below is our programme plan for the day.

Tower Project session 3 British Museum

Tower Project session 3 The British Museum

Sam began our day with showing me a drawing she had made about the Sensory Objects project.

Samantha and her Sensory Project Pic

Samantha and her Sensory Project Pic

We were welcomed to the museum by their Access and Equality manager Jane Samuels.

Jane welcomes Group

Jane welcomes Group

Jane gave us an image of Sir Hans Sloane and asked our group to see if they could spot the painting as they entered Room 2.

Jane said that when we found the painting we would find Hilary Williams who would give us a talk about Sir Hans Sloane, his collection and the Enlightenment Gallery see picture below.

Group Listening to Hilary

Group Listening to Hilary

Hilary asked our co-researchers how old is the Earth? See picture below.

Based on the Bible people used to think it was 400 years old but when people discovered fossils they realised it was millions of years old.

Hilary asks how old is the earth

Hilary asks how old is the earth

Hilary explained that the Enlightenment Gallery contained collections of natural things like shells, animals, mineral rocks and fossils and things made by humans such as tools and artworks.

After lunch our co-researchers were asked to choose an object in the Enlightenment Gallery that they liked and would like more information about. We asked them to consider what sensory information their object had and if they would like more. How would if feel if you could touch it? smell if you could sniff it etc Below are some of their choices, Justin chose a replica of silver cup.

Justin with Cup

Justin with Cup

Adalana the replica of the Pitt Diamond.

Adalana and diamond

Adalana and diamond

Close up of replica Pitt Diamond that Adalana chose.

Adelanas diamond

Adelanas diamond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emen chose a carved foot in a sandel.

Emen draws sandle

Emen draws sandle

Sandle carvedKaty chose a snake, rat and mongoose.

Katy Snake Rat

Katy Snake Rat

Tim chose a miniature Egyptian mummy sarcophagus.

Tims objects collected

Tims objects collected

Ryan chose Chinese Plates.

Ryans choice

Ryans choice

Julie chose a stuffed heron which she made some notes about.

Julie draws a heron

Julie draws a heron

Sam and Noelle talk about shell collection and how it reminded her of her mum who lived by the sea.

Sam and Noelle

Sam and Noelle

Michael chose a big bowl

Michael and his bowl

Michael and his bowl

Judith chose objects from Africa

Judiths notes

Judiths notes

Judith's choice

Judith’s choice

Some of the group tried out the British Museum handling table, they enjoyed using the magnifying glass to view the objects.

Sam tries handling collection

Sam tries the handling table

Katy at handling table holding a flint.

Katy at Handling table

Katy at Handling table

Our co-researchers collected thoughts and stories about the chosen object (see pictures below), ready to talk about their chosen object when we meet at the Rix Centre next week.

Adelana draws

Adelana draws

Tim with his notes

Tim with notes

Tim with notes

 

Tower Project London Session TWO 16.07.14

In our second session with our Co-researchers from the Tower Project we asked them to bring in an object that was special for them and they would be able to talk about why they brought it. Below is the easy read outline plan of the day.

 Week 2 Tower Project Session

Week 2 Tower Project Session

The theme of the day was to create a Pop Up Museum form objects everyone had been asked to bring in. Everyone had brought something they could talk about we made a video of each person with their object.

We wanted to think about objects people own that are special for them and how they transform when they become part of a museum collection.

Co-researchers with objects

Co-researchers with objects Emem photographs them

First we described the object we had brought in, what it meant to each person, and where we kept it, what it made us think of when we saw it. The picture below shows Justin with his trophy for Disco Dancing he won it when he was 3 years old. Next Katy with her musical globe of the Lion King bought for her by her sister who had seen the stage play and Marc a visitor from Austria who is with us for 3 weeks on a study placement he had bought some wafer biscuits that are typically Austrian as a gift for everyone at the Rix Centre.

Talking about the objects

Talking about the objects

Once we had videoed everyone talking about their object we took instant photos of the objects and created a label with images and some text. The picture below shows all the Co-researchers with the labels they had made.

Everyone at the Pop up Museum

Everyone at the Pop up Museum

Next we decided to make categories for our Pop Up Museum, we chose 7 which is the same number they have in the Enlightenment Museum. Our section names for the Pop Up Museum were 1 Toys and Games, 2 Food and Drink, 3 Family Histories, 4 Places, 5 Awards, 6 Events and 7 Curios. The image below shows the group at work displaying their objects in different sections, Noelle helps Michael display his football.

Pop Up Museum Foot ball

Noelle helps organise the Pop Up Museum Michael’s  Football is displayed

 

Popup museum in the making

Popup museum in the making

Exhibits in the Pop Up Museum, we had some glass display cases which we tried out each object inside some were too big, so we used the base. Putting the objects under glass made changed the object. The images below show exhibits in our museum in the first picture you can see Adalana she chose to display her white cane, Kell showed her Grandmothers wedding ring and Julie a Champagne glass she was given on her 30th birthday.

Adalana, Kelly and Julie pop up exhibits

Adalana, Kelly and Julie pop up exhibits

The picture below shows items brought in by Tower Project support workers Debbie displayed old money, Minos a mosaic that reminded him of Greece and Farhat (sorry need to find out how to spell name) a watch that he was given for his 25th birthday the 3rd of his collection.

Support workers Pop up Exhibits

Support workers Pop up Exhibits

The picture below shows Samatha’s journal where she writes about all the work she does, next is Tim’s soldier at the Trooping of the Colour he has a big collection of them he spoke how putting the figure under the glass dome changed its scale and finally Emen’s medal he won for running, he has lots of medals for sport.

Popup museum Sam Tim and Emem

Popup museum Sam Tim and Emem

Below shows Ryans bus he used to travel on a Route Master, Adjoa’s teddy given to her by a friend at the airport, a collection of all our wrist watches from some of the group and the Austrian food, chocolate, biscuits and pumpkin oil.

The Tower Project Pop Up Museum

The Tower Project Pop Up Museum

We photographed the Pop Up Museum see pictures below

We took lots of photos

We took lots of photos

Austrian food and drink exhibits with sensory information on the labels

Austrian treats exhibit Pop up museum

Austrian treats exhibit Pop up museum

It was a really interesting day, hearing about everyones object and then seeing them displayed. We talked a bit about how our museum might have connections to the Enlightenment Gallery at the British Museum we are visiting next. See a picture of our discussion below we remembered Andy’s talk about Museums and Collections last week, where the fork came from, what is was used for originally, who bought it and how it ended up as an exhibit. We asked our co-researchers what was our research question was? They said how to make museums more accessible. We will explore adding sensory information to tell stories about objects from our Co-researchers perspective. Our group suggested using video, touch sounds, braille to help make museums more enjoyable to visit.

Kates cartoons of session

Tower Project London Session ONE 09.07.14

We held an introductory session with our new Co-Researchers from the Tower Project London at the Rix Centre who will be researching sensory objects for the British Museum. The picture below shows the easy read plan for the day.

Tower Project Session ONE

Tower Project Session ONE

It was great to meet every one from the Tower Group see the picture below

Tower Group during first session

Tower Group during first session

Andy used cartoons to help us think about objects, collecting and displaying the objects in museums see picture below

Collecting Objects FORK

Collecting Objects FORK

Universities Museum Group Digital Showcase Bristol

UMG PIC

UMG PIC

Nic and Faustina took some of our Sensory Objects to display at Digital Dimensions: the University Museums Group Digital Technology Showcase in Bristol. We were given the “dressing room” of the Warwick Theatre to display everything.

UMG SHOW

UMG SHOW

We put Rumena’s chicken in the hallway so that as people walked past it activated the sensor and drew people into the room. We learned afterward that they were having a meeting in main theatre down the hall and they could hear the chicken and an occasional pig and cow throughout meeting, but they said they didn’t mind, it livened up the meeting. The showcase gave us a great opportunity to share our research with others from museums. One delegate tweeted about Rumena’s Chicken see picture below.

Chicken Twitter Comments

Chicken Twitter Comments

Sensory Objects paper published

Sensory Objects Project has had a paper published in the SIGACCESS Newsletter. DOWNLOAD SENSORY OBJECTS PAPER PDF HERE

SIG ACCESS PAGE

SIG ACCESS PAGE

SIGACCESS promotes the professional interests of computing personnel with disabilities and the application of computing and information technology in solving relevant disability problems. It also strives to educate the public to support careers for people with disabilities. The newsletter is read by many people including those interested in the design, development, evaluation, and scientific investigations of technologies to support individuals with disabilities. This includes:

  • Researchers
  • Clinicians and teachers charged with assessing disabilities
  • Rehabilitation personnel who administer assistive technologies
  • Policy makers concerned with equitable access to information technologies for people with disabilities

Sensory Objects In Progress Seminar June 10th

Our seminar was excellent and we want to say a big Thank You! to all who took part you were brilliant. Below shows the events of the day in our easy read programme

Seminar Easy Read Doc

Seminar Easy Read Doc

Miranda Fox from Reading Mencap Coffee Club began the day with an intro to the project with Kate

Miranda from Reading Mencap

Miranda from Reading Mencap

Phil Lucas Head of Reading College LLD/D Dept was also kind enough to say a few words, he mentioned that our project predicted the future, learning ‘through project’ which he felt was very successful and something that Reading College would be doing more of in the future. He was very proud of what the students had achieved and that it had benefited both students and staff.The picture below shows Rachel demonstrating her pig to Phil and Skye using an iPad to show her Wiki

Rachel with Phil Lucas in background

Rachel with Phil Lucas in background

Our Co-researchers demonstrated their sensory objects to the seminar, the picture below shows Gosia helping one of our visitors experience Rachel’s Pig.

Trying Rachel's Pink Pig

Trying Rachel’s Pink Pig

Trying Rachel's Pink Pig close up

Trying Rachel’s Pink Pig close up

 

Sheep cushion

Sheep cushion that goes baa when you stroke it

Sian show Tina from the Art Dept her Wiki

Sian shows Tina from the University of Reading Art Dept her Wiki

 

Andy smiles while photos

Andy smiles while photos

Kate Arnold-Forster Director of MERL talked about the impact of the project on MERL that it had given them ideas for interactive exhibits in the redesign of MERL and also for workshops that have a more open ended creative approach.

The picture in the slide below shows the museum where Sensory Objects will work next at the British Museum from July 2015.

Kate ArnoldForster Director of MERL

Kate ArnoldForster Director of MERL

Special thanks go to our Co-researcher group who came up for the two days from Liverpool. John Taylor and Phillip Ryan from Liverpool Mencap Access to Heritage Group

John & Philip present their research using the Sensory Objects Cookbook

John & Philip present their research using the Sensory Objects Cookbook

John shows Nicola andPhilip shows Gosia sensory Scrap book

John shows Nicola andPhilip shows Gosia sensory Scrap book

John and Philip gave a vivid report of their experiences using our Sensory Activities Cookbook, by demonstrating through slides, fat scrap books and boxes of textures, and their reflections and thoughts of their sensory experiences visiting Sudley House in Liverpool.

Philbox

Gosia and Andy presented ideas about using multi media as away for our co-researchers to reflect.

Gosia & Andy presentation

Gosia & Andy presentation

Andy taking

Andy talking about multimedia advocacy

Nic presented littleBits go LARGE and other workshop tools developed by the project to make technology more accessible or is that make accessible technology?

Nic and littleBits

Nic and littleBits

Trying littleBits

Trying littleBits

Having a go with littleBits

Having a go with littleBits

Nicola Grove gave a talk about the meanings of objects and led a discussion.

Nicola during her talk

Nicola during her talk

Nicola asked for a volunteer to help her discuss what objects mean to different people, she asked John close his eyes and tell us what object he was holding. John gave a great description of the cold feel of a metal key. Nicola asked the audience what a key meant to them, some people said home, but Nicola mentioned that for those of us who don’t have our own key to where we live it would have a different meaning.

Nicola Gives John a Key

Nicola Gives John a Key

Qian Chen our students lecturer finished the day by leading an impromptu sing along of Old Mac Donald! by that time our numbers had swelled to around 80 people as many students arrived from Reading College.

Award Ceremony at the Natural History Museum London 11.06.14

We were invited to the National co-ordinating centre for public engagement (NCCPE) Engage Competition award ceremony at the Natural History Museum London.

Awards Crowd

Awards Crowd

Only three people per project were allowed to go, otherwise we would have invited more of our research group to come along! The picture below shows Nic, Kate and Ajay by a banner showing our co-researchers in Liverpool.

At Award Ceremony

At Award Ceremony

At the ceremony we watched videos from all the finalists projects in the final including Sensory Objects. You can watch the videos here

Sensory Objects were runners up in the Art Design and Culture Award. We were really pleased to be included amongst such great projects. The picture below shows our page in the finalist booklet and a crystal paper weight awarded to all finalists.

Sensory Objects Runnerup Page

Sensory Objects Runnerup Page

After the ceremony we were given afternoon tea see picture below, which we enjoyed very much!

Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea

After the ceremony we were invited to take part in Universities Week Late at the Natural History Museum part of Universities Week, an action-packed evening to explore how research impacts everyday lives. We took part in the Researchers Cafe we had a menu of questions about our research that the public could talk to us about.

These were our questions: How important is it to be able to experience more than our sense of sight in museums?  Which senses trigger your emotions most? How do multisensory experiences improve museum experiences?

We made sure we took some props including Sians Moot and littleBits go LARGE to help our discussion. The picture below shows Nic and Ajay ready at the table.

Nic and Ajay ready to discuss at the Researchers Cafe

Nic and Ajay ready to discuss at the Researchers Cafe

Buckets, Baskets and Boots

On Monday June 9th we held our event Buckets, Baskets and Boots at MERL, it was very successful everyone enjoyed the chance to meet our co-researchers find out what they had been researching and try their sensory objects.

Sensory Object Researchers at MERL event

Sensory Object Researchers at MERL event

The picture below shows Rachel and Sian helping to demonstrate Guillermo’s bucket, it made different farm animal sounds when you dipped your hand in and out some people loved it some found it too LOUD.

Demo of Guillermo's Bucket

Demo of Guillermo’s Bucket

The picture below shows Rachel demonstrating her pig it grunts when you squeeze its nose and ears.

RachelsmilesPinkpigtwo

It was a lovely sunny day at MERL some visitors took the sensory objects outside to try the picture below shows a visitor from Reading College pressing the tractor on Skye’s bucket which played the sound of co-researchers singing Old MacDonald.

Pressing Tractor on Skyes Bucket

Pressing Tractor on Skyes Bucket

Rachel McGowan wasn’t able to come to the Monday event but many people enjoyed her jiggling pig.

Sunglasses and Yellow pig

Sunglasses and Rachel’s Yellow pig

John, Philip, Ticky, June and Gerry came from Liverpool Mencap Access to Heritage Group for the event and tried all the objects, the yellow pig see pic below made John laugh!

John with Rachel's yellow pig

John with Rachel’s yellow pig

The picture below shows Ticky and Philip tryout Lukes bucket, when you drop an egg down the hole it Luke’s voice is triggered saying things like “Hole in One”, “Wheeeeee!” and “Quack”

Ticky and Philip try Luke's Bucket

Ticky and Philip try Luke’s Bucket

Our co-researchers used their Wiki webpages to tell people about their research.

Co-researchers Wikis on smart board

Co-researchers Wikis on smart board

Skye with iPad showing her Wiki

Skye with iPad showing her Wiki

Our co-researchers Rachel and Rumena made smoothies with Robyn that were delicious and made the place smell good too. The pictures below show Robyn and Rachel and Rachel making a smoothie for Gosia.

Robyn and Rachel RachelgiveGosiasmoothie

Our co-researchers and summer students Mia and Kassie helped everyone tryout littleBits

 LITTLEBITS

LITTLEBITS

Sound boxes were demonstrated by our Co-researchers

Soundboxes

and also discover our Wellie boot herb garden.Rachel with herboot

The day was well attended including many from Reading College, Mencap Reading and Liverpool Access to Heritage Group.

Viewing sensoryobjects

Finally the picture below shows a tweet comment about the event!

Twitter comment about event at MERL

Twitter comment about event at MERL

 

Reading College LLD/D Students Workshop 02.06.14

We had busy day at Reading College, Gosia and Ajay from the Rix Centre showed our Co-researchers videos compiled from their favourite photos chosen at the last session, the pictures are set to a piece of their favourite music. The video below shows clips of the group watching their videos.

Next Nic showed Rachel and Rumena their updated art works, that now had motors in to make them move.

Rachel's Yellow Pig

Rachel’s Yellow Pig

First Rachel McGowan’s yellow pig, Rachel wanted it to move in the bucket and make the sound of a pig. Skye, and Sian helped Rachel to try it out.

Then we tried out the mechanism for Rumena’s chicken in a basket, when we discussed what the chicken would do Rumena did the Makaton sign, or what we recognised as the funky chicken dance! So her chicken need wings that flapped.

Rumena's Chicken and Egg

Rumena’s Chicken and Egg

Rumena made her chicken using a wooden spoon for its head, this made using a pair of marigold gloves to make wings the obvious choice and gives Rumena’s chicken a very unique look, everyone in the group enjoyed it. The the battery to power the motor is in the big egg on the side. Both Rachel and Rumena’s motors and sounds are triggered by a movement sensor. You can find out more about all the workings for our objects on our other webpage ExtraSensoryObjects

After lunch Robyn arrived and asked our Co-researchers to make labels for our Wellie Boot Herb Garden.

Wellie Boot Herb Garden

Wellie Boot Herb Garden

Robyn brought clippings from the planted herbs to college so our co-researchers could smell them, name them and draw them to make labels identifying each herb boot.

Robyn with herbs

Robyn with herbs

The picture below show some of the labels being made.

Labelling Herbs

Labelling Herbs for Wellie Boot Herb Garden

We had another go with the Hoofy Horse, it now has four legs and needs two people one for the front and one for the back. The video below shows Rachel, Guillermo and Sian having a go Rumena is also making it ‘clip clop’ .

Finally we had a go at singing and recording Old MacDonald, the recording was to create a sound for Skye’s farm bucket, when the tractor is pressed it triggers Old Mac Donald Skye wanted lots of animal sounds in her bucket. The video below shows clips of our singing with some Makaton signing too.

Reading College LLD/D Students MERL Workshop 19.05.14

During our session we continued to test and finish our sensory objects.The video below shows Rachel testing her Pink Pig in a Bucket.

Robyn helped our Co-researchers create different smoothie recipes and we all taste tested them, some of them used herbs planted and grown in boots by our Co-researchers. At our event Buckets, Baskets and Boots on June 9th at MERL our Co-researchers will be making the following smoothies for visitors to try:

Smoothie making

Smoothie making

SUMMER SENSATION
Strawberries
Apple juice
Yoghurt
Crushed ice
(strawberry garnish on rim of glass)
ICED APPLE AND MINT TEA
Fresh apple juice
Iced tea
Fresh mint from our wellie garden
Crushed ice
(sprig of mint to garnish)
ICED ORANGE
Freshly squeezed orange juice
Crushed ice
(orange slice garnish on rim of glass)
ORANGE COCKTAIL
Freshly squeezed orange juice
Soda water
Crushed ice
(orange slice garnish on rim of glass)

After a lovely farmers lunch provided by Robyn eaten outside in the sun we tried out another sensory object called Hoofy Horse, this was inspired by Rachels picture with the invisible  horse in MERLS collection.

Rachel as horse with invisible horse

Rachel as horse with invisible horse

We had made the sound of horses hooves using coconut shells so we decided to use some pressure sensors to make a clip clop sound, testing of this is shown in the video below.

We also looked at some images of our Co-researchers meeting a rabbit during one of their lessons at Reading College they are planning to visit a pet shop to learn all about domestic pets. The picture below shows the rabbit with Skye and Guillermo.
SkyeandGuillermowithrabbit

Skye and Guillermo with rabbit

Skye & rabbit

Skye & rabbit

Museum and Heritage Show at Olympia 14th & 15th May

Sensory Objects were invited to join UEL on their stall advertising their MA in Heritage Studies at the Museum and Heritage show at Olympia. The image below shows Ajay from the Rix Centre with Sian’s ‘Moot’, it was really enjoyed by visitors to the show.

Ajay at Olympia

Ajay at Olympia

We showed some videos of our research at MERL with our Co-researchers from Reading College LLD/D. The picture below shows Toby Butler who runs the MA from UEL holding Sian’s Moot, Ajay is demoing our sound box and Co-researcher Skye and lecturer Cathy from Reading College appear in the video.

Toby and Ajay with Skye in video

Toby and Ajay with Skye and Cathy in the video

We also took  Lukes ‘blue flag’ bucket. We told lots of people about our research and our events in June. The picture below shows Toby talking to Carolyn from GEM

Olympia with Carolyn from GEM

Olympia with Carolyn from GEM

 

Sensory Objects in Progress Seminar Tuesday 10th June

We are going to have talks and demonstrations about the project on Tuesday 10th of June  the Seminar is part of Universities Week Below is a flyer in easy read version and with more text about the Seminar. Please send an email to k.allen@reading.ac.uk if you would like to attend the seminar its free but places are limited.

Seminar Invite Tuesday 10th June Easy Read

Seminar Invite Tuesday 10th June Easy Read

 

Seminar Flyer

Seminar Flyer Tuesday 10th

Buckets, Baskets and Boots Monday June 9th 2014

We are working towards two events in June part of Universities Week on Monday 9th our Co-researchers from Reading College LLD/D dept will present our research in the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL). Below is the poster for the event, hope you can come!

Buckets Baskets And Boots Flyer

Buckets Baskets And Boots Flyer

Testing the Sensory Objects Cookbook, Sudley House Liverpool 21.03.14

Although making sensory boxes were planned during this session, we used the whole session to feedback about the book its self. It took longer than expected so we made some sensory boxes in our final session at Sudley, the pictures below show some of our Sudley House Boxes made during our final session.

Angela's box of Sudley House

Angela’s box of Sudley House

Close up of Stephen's Box of Sudley House

Close up of Stephen’s Box of Sudley House

Ticky wrote this report for us on the groups thoughts about the cookbook. We began by recapping on the previous session. We went around the group individually to share Objects made last week, iPad photos, Printed photos, to help them to remember and to share. In pairs – with support staff and service users we looked at the whole of the cookbook.Feed back was filmed and some notes were written in the books. Some really useful comments and suggestions came out of this session.

  • The name is misleading
  • It would be good to have the whole section about one activity in one place instead of separated with appendices
  • It would be good to have a list of things you need for the activity with the cartoon
  • A session planning template would be useful for support staff
  • A filled in version as an example would show supporters what kind of thing to write

(We made a template for support staff as part of the Hands On training – but we think it could do with being reformatted as it looks too much like a form and some staff find that off putting.)

  • A blank page for notes would also be useful
  • J&G have been adding a starting activity (ice breaker) and a feed back session at the end and this could be worth suggesting in the book if it is to be used by support staff.
  • Who is the intended audience for the book? Casual visitors? Venue staff? Support staff, service users all?
  • It could be used by groups visiting if they were handed a sheet on arrival to help them focus their visit on a sense?
  • Or for a 6 week block visit
  • Could be a really useful tool for support staff to plan activities at the base through the senses over several weeks – for example a group have South America as their topic and could choose to have a food focus then music……
  • Suggested that it could be less linked to a house and made more general
  • Produced as a durable book as it would get a lot of use and handling
  • Asked about web resources they didn’t think it would work as staff in day centres are not given the time to go on line and down load plans
  • And they would be unlikely to up load their photos, films sound clips, comments for same reason.
  • Unless it was incorporated into the session

Other comments on book

  • Simple symbols possibly in colour and quite big needed for the senses to be used where ever there are titles smell touch etc introduced in the contents page where it can be explained if necessary then recognised elsewhere.
  • Symbols Used in place of the photos which are too ambiguous   in contents and else where (although lovely for the group as they are in them)
  • Most of the cartoons are brilliant and are an excellent way to engage with the book for people with learning disabilities.
  • Some pictures are confusing and misleading – microphone mistaken for an ice cream – mouse confuses people – smell pictures are hard to read – texture is most unclear and needs rethinking – possibly using real pictures?
  • The questionnaire is not made for people with learning disabilities
  • If you want their comments need more work on this – yes/no answers smiley face sad face.
  • Pictures
  • Some comments written in books directly which I will send to you along with the films of people feeding back.

Testing the Sensory Objects Cookbook, Smell at Sudley House Liverpool 06.03.14

Our Co-researchers in Liverpool continued to test the Cookbook at Sudley House, This week they concentrated on the sense of smell.

using cookbook smell collection workshop

Using cookbook smell collection workshop

using cookbook smell collection workshop

Using cookbook smell collection workshop

Ticky brought some bags containing various smells, and the group discovered some things that smelled at Sudley House.

Smells of Sudley

Smells of Sudley, including cleaning materials, primroses and onions.

 

Testing the Sensory Objects Cookbook Sound at Sudley House Liverpool 27.02.14

Our group of Co-researchers in Liverpool have continued to test the Sensory Objects Cookbook at Sudley House Liverpool throughout February and March 2014. Each week members of the Access to Heritage group have met and tried out a different sensory expedition. In an earlier post we told you about a touch activity, the next was sound.”Microsoft Word - Cookbook_Ver8

The group brought sound making equipment with them to Sudley house, Shakers, Keyboard, etc. June led an activity where we all had to close our eyes and sit quietly for a couple of minutes just to listen. Then we went round the room to find out what people had heard. It was surprising what you could hear when you listen! Shoes on stairs, I heard, people talking, Chairs creaking, bird song, dogs barking, Carl drinking coffee and putting cup down, the sea. In the house we went round in small groups with i pads which we used to record images and sound. We created some sounds our selves – like opening drawers, walking on wooden floors and turning the pages of a book.

Sound collection expedition

Sound workshop, collecting, imagining and making sounds at Sudley House

We recorded people chattering and clinking in the tea room. We imagined what other sounds might have gone on at the dining table for example – pouring drinks, laughing. cutlery, clock ticking, banging plates, biting, chewing, scraping. After lunch we listened to sounds each of us had recorded on the i pads: a creaking door, hitting railings with a stick, turning a door handle, walking down stairs, cafe sounds,rain drop, fire cracking, talking. Some people took photos of paintings and photos and imagined the sounds they would make. The group didn’t end up using the sound makers they had brought with them.

Reading College LLD/D Students MERL Workshop 31.03.14

The main focus of our workshop was for our co-researchers to try out some of the Sensory Objects in development. Sian’s mooing boot was first, the group enjoyed stroking it, sometimes if fell over which surprised people, but the boot has been rebuilt by Nic with it’s electronics inside, to be pretty robust. We did wonder if we need to weight it down in someway, although some co-researchers would like to pick it up and stroke it others wanted to just pat it, which could make it topple over.

Sian with 2mooing boots

Sian with a pair of mooing boots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sian was clear that she preferred hearing her own mooing rather than having sounds of real cows, so we recorded her mooing and will change the sound track. She also painted another version of Old MacDonald for the New Boot.

Luck tests his bucket

Luke tests his bucket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke’s ‘Hole in one’ bucket was next, Nic tested out flag poles that would alter the sound track when the egg/ball went down the hole. Luke definitely preferred it when he heard his own voice. We discovered the hole to put the pole in was had to find and that wooden poles were easy to break so Nic suggested aluminium poles. We recorded Luke speaking some more to add to the recording.

Then we tested out Skye’s Farm in a bucket, Skye had asked for the sound to be on constantly so the sounds of the farm were fitted with a timer.

But the group had become used to touching to trigger sounds from their previous experience with the boot. We wondered if we should add a touch sensor too?

We also tested the sensors for Rachel’s pig it still needs a bit of work we demoed it with NIc making the sounds as the sensors are not quite ready yet. Rachel also made a fantastic drawing of animals

Rachael drawing

Rachel drawing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also made smoothies which we had after another delicious lunch with freshly churned butter supplied by Robyn. We drew on and planted out some more Wellie boots with plants that smell good. Rachel and Guillermo concentrated really hard on this task and collected some stones from MERL’s garden for drainage.

planting out boots

Planting out boots with herbs and flowers

Reading Mencap at MERL 06.03.14

Reading Mencap Coffee Club came to MERL to help us with our research.

We focussed on the sense of smells to begin, Kassie organised 6 bags with smells inside and asked the group to find something in the museum that linked to the smells in the bags. Kassie had placed some of the wellie boots filled with herbs in around the museum.

Smells in bags Reading Mencap

Smells in bags Reading Mencap

 

Smell hunt

These are the places the group thought the smells belonged

The group photographed where they thought the smells belonged. Next we demonstrated some of the sensory objects developed by our Co-Researchers at Reading College.

Srokingforsounds

Sroking for sounds

Sians boot was very popular mooing when stroked, although Caroline found it disturbing, she preferred the sheep fleece cushion that went baa when stroked. We are working with Reading Mencap as local advisors for our project we were keen to hear their thoughts and opinions about the project so far. The next activity was to focus on taste, lead by Robyn the group made their own smoothies and juice, they really enjoyed this, learnt about how healthy and easy it was and delicious too.

Smoothies and Juice

Smoothies and Juice

After Robyns delicious lunch at which we spread our bread with butter that we had made from shaking cream in a jar with a marble in it we showed the group some of the electronics kits we have used with our Co-Researchers from Reading College. We wanted to see if they found our littleBits go LARGE kit easier to use. Kevin had a go with both and found them both easy, Charlie and Miranda made some excellent sounds with the Synth Kit.

Reading Mencap try littleBits

Reading Mencap try littleBits

 

Reading College LLD/D Students MERL Workshop 24.02.14

Co-Researchers with Design for all Award

Co-Researchers with our International Design for all Foundation Award

At our session at MERL we took photos of our group with our International Design for All  Foundation Award and celebrated by making a chocolate cake organised by Robyn.

Sensory Objects Researchers, Reading College Students and Staff with Design Award

In the garden of MERL with Sensory Objects Researchers, Reading College LLD/D Students and Staff with our International Design for all Foundation Award . Photo by RUMENA

Our Co-Researchers helped Robyn make a cake and prepare our lunch they were given the opportunity to try on some mop caps that farmers wives would wear.

Preparing lunch wearing Mop Caps

Preparing lunch wearing Mop Caps

Rachel helped Robyn mix the chocolate cake mix

To celebrate our award we made cakes

To celebrate our award we made cakes

Celebrating our award with tea and Cake

Celebrating our award with tea and Cake

Co-Researchers with Access for all Design Award in MERL

Co-Researchers in MERL with their International Design for All Foundation

After lunch Robyn asked the group to try making a glass filled with water make a ringing noise. The idea was for our Co-Researchers to do an activity that would allow the group to  be calm and restful. The picture below show Rachel making a glass of water make a ringing sound with her wet finger. We also asked the group to sit and look into a jar containing water and glitter each with farm animal inside that Robyn had made.

Making a glass sing Rachel

Making a glass sing Rachel

Looking at Glitter Jars

Looking at Glitter Jars

We also did more work on our interactive objects and posters for our event on JUNE 9th 2014.

Rumena worked on her chickens head it now has three eyes! Rumena chose a pair of yellow marigold gloves for the chickens wings, Nic is working on a way to make the wings flap. We tested a stroke sensor in Sians boot that made a mooing sound when she stroked the furry boot. We tested Luke’s ‘Blue Flag, Hole in one’ mechanisim it was nice and loud but now it needs to have Luke’ voice instead of numbers on the recording. We asked Skye about her creature and basket she would like all the farm animal noises. We explained to Guillermo that we plan to create 4 buckets with sensors that Guillermo can play, we also asked him about a balloon he had painted red and blue he said it was a donkey. Rachel would like her yellow pig to grunt, we also explained we will make her other pig rustle in its straw bucket. Rachel 2 worked on the nose of her pig which she would like to grunt when Squeezed.

We asked the group to fill in empty speech and thought bubbles for our poster. What sensory things have they heard, tasted, seen, touched and tasted in the Museum of English Rural Life, what do they think about the senses and MERL?

Sian&SkyeSpeech Bubbles

Sian & Skye Speech Bubbles

SianandSkyeThoughtBubbles

Sian and Skye Thought Bubbles

Luke drew his thoughts about the milk bottles in the display at MERL the picture is shown here alongside an instant pic taken by one of our Co-Researchers and given a smiley sticker as one of our groups favourite pics.

Luke picture of Milk bottles

Luke picture of Milk bottles

Reading College LLD/D Students Multi Media Advocacy Workshop 14.02.14

Andy and Ajay from the Rix Centre led a Multi Media Advocacy Session with our Co-Researchers at Reading College. They did some further work with students on their wikis, the idea was to see how we might be able to join up some of the work we have done about MERL with multi sensory workshops with the work that is part of the student curriculum on independent living, transition and developing participation in the community. We thought that we could draw from the existing array of photos that students have from MERL and see how we can talk and work on themes such as WORK, TRANSPORT, WHERE YOU LIVE and HOUSING, COOKING, DOMESTIC SKILLS etc. – using the MERL experience and sensory approaches as the starting point. The video below shows Sian with Andy’s help demonstrating to the group how to make pages for her wiki about Travel. Ajay took some video clips of Sian and Andy.

Our aim is to use the students’ wikis as a place where they can put together their thoughts and ideas. They may also use the Internet and Google Image search to connect the old with the new, bringing their insights and sensory understandings into their reflection about their own lives and their future goals and wishes.

Co-Researchers at Reading College

Co-Researchers at Reading College

The picture below shows Andy and Sian working together on the interactive white board to create Sian’s wiki. The idea was to explore transport Sian had seen in MERL a tractor then discuss how Sian travels, she found a picture of a taxi and showed us her bus pass.

Sian and Andy talk TRANSPORT

Sian and Andy talk TRANSPORT

Then all the Co-Researchers created pages about Transport using i Pads.

Group using ipad

Racheal, Rachel, Guillermo and Skye using i pad to talk TRANSPORT

International Design for All Foundation Award 2014

This evening Nic was in Paris for the International Design for All Foundation Award and our project Sensory Objects won an International Design for All Foundation Award. The award was given for our research Making Electronics Accessible to People with Learning Disabilities we told them all about the research we are all doing to make the sensory objects workshops more accessible for our Co-Researchers. The picture below shows our award.

International Access for All Design Award

International Access for All Design Award

Testing the Sensory Objects Cookbook at Sudley House Liverpool 07.02.14

This testing session the first of six was a chance for Nic to introduce the Cookbook to a new group, and to introduce Sudley House. The picture below shows our Co-Researchers looking at the Cookbook.

Cookbook Test at Sudley House

Cookbook Test at Sudley House

Stephen Hogg, Angela Green, Gerry Regan and June Jenkins were Sensory Objects Co-Researchers 2012-13 at Speke Hall Liverpool. We asked them along with Ticky Lowe and Nic Hollinworth to meet and introduce John, Keith and Pauline and support worker Anita from Stockbridge Day Centre to the Sensory Objects project Cookbook. John, Keith, Pauline and Anita are new to the project and we wanted to show them the Cookbook and see if they found it easy to use as a guide to planning sensory activities at a new venue. Led by Ticky we explored Sudley House focusing on and recording textures of  actual objects, costume and objects in paintings.

Sudley Hall Textures

Sudley Hall Textures

Then back in the workshop room we used Ticky’s collection of fabrics to choose textures like the ones we found in the house to make a “textural” record of our visit. For the next sessions Anita will be using the cookbook to plan and deliver workshops at Sudley House herself. Ticky’s role will be to document the sessions and find out how Anita finds using the cookbook to plan and deliver the sessions. 

Reading College LLD/D Students MERL Workshop Eleven 27.01.14

We met up for the first time this year at MERL we started our workshop by reviewing the objects we made last term, and what needed still to be done ready for our exhibition on June 9th 2014.

Group Busy at Work

Group Busy at Work

Nic had added a sensor to Lukes bucket the idea was based on Lukes interest in golf, the bucket has a golf hole in the top when the ball or egg is dropped in it triggers a sound. The image below shows the group testing it. Sometimes the sound worked but sometimes it did not Nic trieded to find out why.

Testing the hole in one bucket

Testing the hole in one bucket

Then Our Co-Researchers were then asked to help design a logo for the Sensory Objects project here are some of their ideas.

Logos

Logos

Robyn prepared a delicious lunch including baked apples that the group stuffed with sultanas, apricots, nuts and seeds which were cooked in the microwave. The picture below shows Sian with some of the apples.

Sian with baked apples

Sian with baked apples

After lunch the group worked with Ajay to make some sensory posters for our exhibition. Ajay recorded the group speaking about each sense and starting to choose pictures to use on the posters. Then we asked the group to start planting herbs in wellie boots so by June we would be able to add some smells to the museum, we planted thyme, rosemary, mint and chives.

Planting in boots

The picture below shows Rachel planting her boot with mint.

Rachel 2 planting boot

Rachel 2 planting boot

The picture below shows the group showing their boots planted Rumenas boot is in the centre.

Planting more boots

Planting more boots

MERL Whats On Guide

The Sensory Objects Project features in the latest MERL Whats On Guide

merl page of newsletter

merl page of newsletter

The picture above shows a page of the MERL newsletter featuring our Co-Researcher from Reading College Sian showing her Old Mac Donald’s wellie boot. The article tells about our SHOWCASE EVENT to be held at MERL on June 9th our Co-Researchers will be presenting their research to the public that day. The next day JUNE 10th we will be holding a SEMINAR and our Co- Researchers will present their research to curators, museum workers, academics, caseworkers etc.

Sensory Objects Project has been selected as a Good Practice in the International Design for All Foundation Awards 2014.

Good_Practice_logo

Good Practice logo

Making Electronics Accessible to People with Learning Disabilities Category: Project proposals, initiatives, methodologies and studies has been selected as a Good Practice in the International Design for All Foundation Awards 2014

Reading College LLD/D Students MERL Workshop Ten 16.12.13

We have been asking our Co-Researchers to experience MERL, The Museum of English Rural Life, using their 5 senses. We aim to share these sensory experiences with the public by adding sensory information through artwork made during workshops this term. We have been making and collecting sounds, often inspired by the groups love of the song Old MacDonald, we have thought about smells we could add to the museum using herbs and spices and the smell of rubber boots, we have explored textures of the museums collections including the feel of wood, metal, straw and eaten a series of amazing farmers lunches. We have experimented with how we could make visually interesting objects to touch, that could trigger sounds and smells. In the morning of this workshop we thought about where we could add sensory objects to make a visit to MERL more enjoyable. Sian took some images where she would like to add a sensory object, she photographed a tractor and where there were photos of cows. Last week Sian worked with wellington boots one had a picture of Old MacDonald on it with cow fur Sian would like the sound of cows mooing, but the moo sounds made by the group.The other boot was covered with grass with her painting of a tractor on it that would make the sound of a tractor engine.

Sians photo where she would like a sensory object

Sians photo where she would like a sensory object

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sian with Old MacDonald Boot

Sian with Old MacDonald Boot that will “moo”

 

 

 

 

Sians photo where she would like a sensory object

Sians photo where she would like a sensory object

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rachel was keen to have a basket everyone was allowed to touch in the museum display.

Rachelwantstotouchthebaskets

Rachel wants to a basket we are allowed to touch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later in the morning Nic demonstrated a potato battery to the group, so we could try out trigger different sounds. After this we started to become a bit Christmassy. Our Co-Researchers gave us some brilliant Christmas cards they had made. We asked everyone to decorate some seasonal biscuits and cakes which we added as a centre piece with the Co-Researcher cards to decorate our Christmas Farmers Lunch. The picture below shows the group decorating biscuits.

Decorating biscuits

Decorating biscuits ready for christmas lunch with handmade cards from our Co-Researchers

The picture below shows our Christmas Farmers lunch, we had crackers too.

Christmas Farmers Lunch

Christmas Farmers Lunch

After lunch our group worked more on their Sensory Objects, there are several pigs being made.

Group hard at work

Group hard at work

In the picture below Rachel is painting a yellow pig she also made a pig hiding in a bucket.

Rachelpaintspigyellow

Rachel paints pig yellow

Rachels other pig hiding in a bucket

Rachels other pig hiding in a bucket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rachel 2 added a rabbit to her bucket

Rachelsrabbitbucket

Rachels rabbit in a bucket

The picture below shows Skye drawing with her cow on the table.

Skye drawing a cat her cow is in the background

Skye drawing a cat her cow is in the background

Luke is very keen on golf so we imagined a duck left Old MacDonalds farm to visit a golf course the duck was right by the blue flag when there was a “hole in one” Luke loves to say this we recorded him saying “a hole in one” Luke made a golf ball from air drying clay which he dropped through the hole. We wondered if Luke would like it if the ball triggered the sound of his voice saying a whole in one, Luke also made the sound of a duck. Luke was the Co Researcher who first mentioned Old MacDonald and was keen on duck and chicken noises. The piece below shows a golf inspire sensory object we are calling “a hole in one”

Lukeholeinone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading College LLD/D Students MERL Workshop Eight 02.12.13

Our Co-Researchers became farm animals, we asked them to find places in the museum they would like to see or hear animals. The pictures below show Guillermo, Skye and Rachel getting ready and the whole group in the museum. There are lots of machines in the museum, there are some photos of animals and lots about horses. We couldn’t find many places where cats and dogs might be except in some old black and white photos on the side of the victorian picture display, we found a chicken in the toy farm displayed in the museum. Rumena was a sheep she found some sheep shearing tools and a picture, we are discussing making a sheep that visitors would be able to record their own ‘Baa’ and hear everyones Baas if the stroke the sheeps head. Rachel and Skye had seen a film about chickens at the weekend called Free Birds, Rachel was very good at acting like a chicken. Skye became a cat and later a pig, while Guillermo was very good at being a dog.dogcatbird

The image below shows Rachel with the invisible horse as a horse, this is where we would like to hear the sound of horses. We have been exploring some press sensors that could trigger sounds we wondered if we could place the press sensors under horse shoes so if a visitor stood on them it would trigger the should of a horse and cart.

Rachel as horse with invisible horse

Rachel as horse with invisible horse

The picture below shows Sian as a cow Sian enjoys mooing and Luke as a duck, Luke had written about the sounds ducks make on his suit. We let the group have decorating suits as we were doing lots of messy things during our workshop but everyone enjoyed wearing them while becoming an animal.

Sian and Luke

Sian and Luke

We also prepared some paper mache balloons ready for next week, the group work hard and were very focussed on covering their balloons, we hope to turn them into either eggs, heads, animal bodies or speech bubbles? We will find out next week.

Balloon Paper mache

Balloon Paper mache

Luke balloon

Luke balloon

Sian balloon

Sian balloon

Next we turned our drawings of Old MacDonalds Farm into paintings on canvas so we could add them to our boots, baskets or buckets. The pictures below show Rumenas drawing and painting of a hen, Sian drawing Old MacDonald with a painting of a green and yellow tractor, Rachel drawing a chicken and Lukes painting of a duck.

Rumenashens Sianpaintoldmacdonald RachelPaints Lukesduckpainting

Reading College LLD/D Students MERL Workshop Seven 25.11.13

We held a session at Reading College using Talking Mats which is a way of finding out what our Co-researchers had experienced using their sense to discover MERL. The session was led by Gosia from the Rix Centre. The mat has images of the five senses and objects from the MERL collection. We asked our Co-researchers which sense they would most like to use to experience an object in the MERL collection.The pictures below shows the talking mat, it has images of the senses and objects from MERL, we asked the Co-researchers which sense they would most like to use to experience an object in the MERL collection.

Gosia with Sian and talking mats

Gosia with Sian and talking mats

 

Guillermo with Talking Mats 2

Guillermo with Talking Mats 2

Skye talking mats results

Skye talking mats results

The talking mats sessions were videoed and will help us work towards developing our sensory objects. While each person did Talking Mats with Gosia, we added more info to their individual wikis, we used iPads to do this. The picture below shoes Guillermo using an iPad

Guillermo using ipad to upload his webpage

Guillermo using ipad to upload his webpage

 

Later we asked the group to make Old Mac Donald’s Farm from foil and drawing.

Group making old macdonald

Group making old Macdonalds farm

The picture below shows Rachael and Guillermo drawing their farms.

Rachel1and guillermo

Rachel1and Guillermo

Sian’s picture of Old MacDonald’s head, farm house and tractor

Sian Old Macdonald face house and tractor

Sian Old Macdonald face house and tractor

Rachel drew some reindeer for her farm.

Rachel2drawing farm

Rachel2drawing farm

The picture below shows Rumenas farm she created some snails for her farm.

Rumenas farm

Rumenas farm

The picture below shows Luke and his drawing of a farm Luke mixed in some words about golf and made a golf club with the silver foil. I asked Luke if he had ever played crazy golf I wondered if we could link golf with farming as Luke is so keen on golf.

Lukes Farm

Lukes Farm

The picture below shows Guillermo with his farm

Guillermo's Farm

Guillermo’s Farm

Reading College LLD/D Students MERL Workshop Six 18.11.13

In the workshop today we concentrated on the sense of SMELL and SOUNDS. In the morning we asked the group to use their sense of smell. We asked the group if they could point to the part of the body we use for our sense of smell. The picture below shows Rachel pointing out a nose. Robyn brought fruit for the group to eat but asked them to smell it before they ate it.

We asked our Co-Researchers to point to which part of the body we use to smell Rachel points to the nose

We asked our Co-Researchers to point to which part of the body we use to smell Rachel points to the nose

Then our Co-Researchers were given brown bags containing different smells we asked them to give them a smiley if they like the smell or a sad face if they didn’t then we put them in order of the favourite and least favourite smell.

Smelling Guillermo Rachel Robyn

Smelling the bags Guillermo, Rachel with Robyn

The picture below shows the smells in order of preference, soap and rosemary were the favourites, soil the least but this was probably because it didn’t smell very strong. Luke was very good at recognising the smells.

Smells in order of preference

Smells in order of preference

After we asked the group to identify something in the museum that linked to the smells, we ended up in the herb garden to find rosemary, lavender and soil. Luke linked cheese to cows.Rachel found some mint too.

Rachel with bag of soil touching soil

Rachel with bag of soil touching soil

We asked the group if they thought a smell would fit inside their boots, baskets and buckets, the picture below shows Rachel who choose rosemary to go in her basket, Sian wanted to put oranges and apples in her basket, Skye thought soil could go in her boot we discussed filling the boot with soil and planting lavender in it so it could grow we thought that might me a good idea. We wondered what plants could grow indoors that smell strongly? Cathy mentioned it would be good for the boots to be decorated so we will do that too in another workshop.

Rachel put rosemary in a bucket

Rachel put rosemary in a bucket

The picture below shows the bag of smells Guillermo chose to put in a bucket he was quite distracted as the bucket was so reflective, he spent a lot of time looking at his face in the bucket.

Guillermo put smell in a bucket

Guillermo put smell of lavender oil in a bucket some of the group liked this others didn’t

Robyn asked the Co-Researchers to choose from different icings by smell to ice some  cakes she made, chocolate was the most popular and blueberry the least, there was orange and lemon too.

Robyn offers Skye Cakes

Robyn offers Skye Cakes

Skye ices cakes

Skye ices cakes

After lunch we experimented with a smell box developed by Nic, the idea was to create a way of triggering smells using littleBits in similar way we had used the sound box.

Guillermosmellbox

Guillermo smell box

Guillermo enjoyed the smell of rosemary but he also liked the breeze he could feel from the fan wafting the smell. The picture below shows Sky clapping to trigger the smell box while Sian checks for the breeze from the fan.

Skye & Sian claps to trigger smells

Skye & Sian claps to trigger smells

After this activity we imaged triggering smells in our Buckets, Baskets and Boots.

We then began another experiment using sound keys. Each Co-Researcher was asked to make a key from foam any shape they liked.RachelLukeKeys2

The keys have aluminium foil and was connected by wires to a micro controller. When all the keys were linked to the computer each key was linked to an animal noise when the keys were pressed the animal noise happened. The picture below shows the group working really well together with the keys create an orchestra of animal noises with different rhythms.

The group press their keys to make individual animal sounds together they create and orchestra

The group press their keys to make individual animal sounds together they create and orchestra

 

Nic linked the sounds to the bucket which worked when you put your hand in the bucket the group experimented with it. Guillermo and Rachel were good at moving their hands in and out to trigger animal sounds.

All the buckets together creating sounds

All the buckets together creating sounds, Rachels key and Rachel and Guillermo put there hands in and out to trigger sounds,

 

Our final activity of the day was to record a version of Old MacDonald the group sang to images of animals making all the animal sounds.

 

Reading College LLD/D Students MERL Workshop Five 08.11.13 & 11.11.13

Our fifth workshop at Reading College was spread over two days the morning of Friday 8th and Monday 11th. On the Friday Gosia came and showed our Co-Researchers how to create their individual webpages unlike the group webpage which you can see here the individual webpages are private for each person to reflect on their experiences during the project. On Monday 11th Ajay and John came from the RIX to continue to add to the blogs. In the afternoon we created some collages and drawings.

Gosia explains the individual website

Gosia explains the individual website on Friday morning

We continued to work on the website on Monday, the picture below shows Rachel drawing what she wants to say for her webpage picture of her holding a parsnip by a display about ploughing. Rachel drew a parsnip, tractor and a ploughed field, she drew an eye to say she had used the sense of sight. The image bottom left shows drawings and text by Rachel describing our lunch at MERL.

Rachel draws text she wanted under her chosen picture

Rachel draws text she wanted under her chosen picture

The picture below shows both Rachel’s, Guillermo and Sian collaging. We asked our Co-Researchers to create collages that would tell a story based on our buckets, boots and baskets. We reminded the group about the nursery rhyme The old woman who lived in a shoe, we asked them what sort of story could be invented could someone live in a boot or a bucket, could sounds come from them, how could the basket, bucket and boot be transformed, give a sensory experience of MERL?

Collaging

Collaging

Luke made his collage and made sounds of the animals he made a very good chicken sound “BrkBrk” and started to sing Old MacDonald had a farm, Ajay recorded him singing and making animal sounds.

Luke collage

Luke’s collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skye also made some animal sounds but she also started singing the song Naughty Boy – La La La ft. Sam Smith.The rest of the group chose music too and it made us realise how important music was to our group, it has made us consider how we can incorporate music into our workshops more. The picture below shows Guillermo dancing and Rachel singing along to the Spice Girls.

Guillermo and Rachel listen to music

Guillermo and Rachel listen to music

Guillermo drew a story where 3 pigs, Cathy and Guillermo’s family live in a bucket!

Guillermo Pic

Guillermo’s pic 3 pigs in a bucket and family

Reading College LLD/D Students MERL Workshop Four 04.11.13

We focused this workshop on the sense of TOUCH in the morning, we had seven bags each with a collection of materials inside. We asked the Co-Researchers to feel inside the bags first and try to describe how the materials felt, some of the words the group used were rough, smooth, soft, hard, cold and warm. The picture below shows the group touching objects in the bags then using some pictures to discuss the types of materials and how they felt touch.

Seven bags with materials inside

Seven bags with materials inside

After our Co-Researchers had described how the materials felt we asked them to place them in order of preference, the objects nearest the smiley face were their favourites the ones near the sad face our Co-Researchers least favourite material to touch. Luke chose his favourite as the milk bottle as it reminded him of breakfast, the softer materials such as the fleece and wool blanket were very popular as were the root vegetables, but the piece of sweetcorn was too cold and slimy to touch, the metal hard and cold. The picture below shows the lineup of the groups choices.

Favourite and least favourite materials to touch

Favourite and least favourite materials to touch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then our Co-Researchers were asked to choose one of the objects in the bags that they really liked to touch, could they find something in the museum that they associated with the object? This was quite a difficult task, the picture below shows Rachel who chose a Parsnip, Sian chose a plastic milk bottle, Guillermo chose some pop corn and Rumena who chose an egg, they are photographed holding the object next to what what they found to connect it in the MERL collection.

Materials we like to touch and things that link to them in MERL

Materials we like to touch and things that link to them in MERL

We also asked the group to link one of the objects in the bags to a sound from the sound boxes. Rachel could remember where the sounds were on the dial! The image below shows Sian with an egg pressing the sound box to make the sound of hens, Luke he chose a potato and played the sound of a steam engine and Skye also chose the egg but continually pressed the button on the sound box so the clucking sound of the hen started to sound like barking and she pointed to the picture of the dog on the image sheet, we thought this was good observation of an accidental invention.

Adding sounds to objects

Adding sounds to objects

Robyn made us a great lunch again with salad, pizza, popcorn, sweet corn, bread that we sliced on the table and carrot cake. This time Robyn decided to keep the food on plates that could be passed around by the group rather than plating it up first the group were able to pass the food around to everyone.

Lunch2

Lunch2

After lunch we asked the Co-Researchers to try the littleBits electronics kit that we had used in the last workshop. We asked the group to make LED’s light up using different sensors. The image below shows the Rachel altering the pulsing of the LEDs with a small screwdriver and Skye trying out the pressure sensors from the littleBits electronics kit. Rumena and Rachel are becoming experts with the littleBits kit!

Rachel altering the pulse of LED lights with screwdriver

Skye uses pressure sensor

Skye uses pressure sensor

We also used a sound sensor, connected to the sound box, the picture below shows Sian and Guillermo clapping to activate the sound sensor.

Guillermo Claps

Guillermo claps to activate a sound sensor linked to the sound box

Sian claps testing a sound sensor

Sian claps testing a sound sensor linked to the sound box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We practised using littleBits triggering the sounds from the sound box and LED’s with different sensors, then we opened some parcels, inside were various types of containers linked to farming, there were Buckets, Baskets and Boots.

Unpacking bootsbasketsbuckets

Unpacking bootsbasketsbuckets

These objects were inspired by the museum and the idea of a container to collect sensory information in. We wanted to experiment with objects other than plain boxes that we used last year at Speke Hall. We explained to the group that we chose these objects because they linked to the MERL collection, farming and they were all objects that could contain things. We asked the Co-Researchers what you could put in a bucket? Luke said water and Skye said eggs, she also mentioned that you could collect eggs in baskets too. Rachel had seen baskets in the museum and she linked the parsnip she chose earlier because she liked how it felt, to collecting vegetables in baskets.

Rachel links baskets to collecting vegetables such as a parsnip

Rachel links baskets to collecting vegetables such as a parsnip

 

Sian and Guillermo gave a practical demonstration of what goes inside a Wellie boot as they both decided to wear them. The picture below show them wearing the boots and caring the buckets and baskets.

bootsbucketsbaskets

Sian and Guillermo bootsbucketsbaskets

Luke, Guillermo, Skye, Sain and Rachel

Luke, Guillermo, Skye, Sain and Rachel (Rumena not in pic)

Then we thought we’d try out the baskets and buckets, we asked the group to choose one of the containers and we went outside into the MERL garden to see what we could collect to put inside our buckets or baskets. The picture below shows the group outside collecting lots of autumn leaves, stones, apples etc.

Inside the bucket

inside the buckets and baskets

The picture above shows some of the objects our Co-Researchers collected in their buckets and baskets from the MERL garden, the leaves were beautiful, their reflection in the shiny buckets were great and to capture them we finished off our workshop by creating some textured rubbings from the leaves we collected see the picture below.

Leaf texture rubbings

Leaf texture rubbings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the last part of the workshop we introduced the idea to the group that we had made art from what we had found, outside enjoying how the materials looked in the buckets, how stones sounded when dropped in the bucket and also how interesting the leaves looked when we rubbed crayons over them to see the pattern and texture of the leaf. We also mentioned that these buckets, baskets and boots could have the potential to be containers for sensory information in the museum, we will continue to explore them in the next MERL workshop.

This was a really busy workshop our Co-Researchers impressed us with how focused and engaged they were all day.

smiley face

smiley face

Reading College LLD/D Students MERL Workshop Three 21.10.13

Our Co-Researchers from Reading College met at MERL for their 3rd workshop. MERL had just held its Apple Day celebration on Sat and we were given some apples to taste, they were very delicious. The picture below shows us tasting various types of English Apples. We were joined by John from the Rix Centre standing on the left, the brown bags contain the different varieties of apples.

Group taste apples from MERL Apple day

Group taste apples from MERL Apple day

We continued to work with the sound boxes. We gave each Co-Researcher a soundbox and asked them to choose one favourite sound that they would like to hear in MERL, we asked them to lead us to an object in the collection that was linked to the sound. Luke and Guillermo choose the horse and cart sound the picture below shows Luke standing by a cart that matched his sound. Luke really enjoyed turning a fly wheel near this exhibit.

Luke finds cart to match horse sound

Luke finds cart to match horse sound

The picture below shows Guillermo photographing both Rachels they have their soundboxes round their necks Rachel on the left choose the sound of chickens (and Rumena did too)  this sound was quite hard to match but we found some roosters on a milk bottle and some bouncy eggs from the shop. Rachel on the right choose the sound of sheep and found this picture of sheep being sheared.

Guillermo photos Ra

Guillermo photos Rachel and Rachel

Sian choose the sound of the steam engine the picture below shows her playing her sound infront of the engine.

Sian choose the sound of the Steam Engi

Sian choose the sound of the Steam Engine

Sian also took lots of instant photos, Guillermo did too. After we listened to the sounds with the objects in the MERL collection the group rated the photos withe smilies which are documented below.

Choosingsmileypics

Choosing smiley pics

Guillermo choosing his favourite photos

Guillermo choosing his favourite photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The image below shows Rachel discussing lunch using images of the food we ate and how it is produced on the farm.

Rachel discussing lunch

Rachel discussing lunch

After a delicious farmers lunch prepared by Robyn helped by Hannah, which included carrots, salad, bread, ham, cheese and home made apple cake with custard…YUM.. we started the second half of the workshop. Nic introduced the group to a special kind of playdough called Squishy Circuits. First we discussed how the dough was made from flour the same basic material as the bread and cake we had eaten for our lunch. We discussed that flour comes from wheat and is milled to make flour. Nic showed us the Squishy Circuit Dough there were two colours, the salt dough which acts as a conductor was green and the sugar dough which is an insulator was orange. Nic explained that if you kept the two lumps of the green dough separate then added a battery with wires going in to each lump of green dough you could create a circuit which would allow an LED to light up. He said the the LED lights have a long leg and a short leg which need to stretch into the separate lumps of green conductive dough. If the LED did not work try turning it the other way round. Everyone had a go and making the lights turn on and off and modelling with the dough.

Rumena created a Squishy Circuit wtih lots of LEDS

Rumena created a Squishy Circuit wtih lots of LEDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture belwo show Rachel and Guilllermo with Cathy making Squishy Circuits.

Rachel and Guillermo created Squish Circuits

Rachel and Guillermo created Squish Circuits 

After a quick break outside where we had a go at an Apple and Spoon race inspired by MERL apple day the group continued to explore ways to create circuits and learn about how they could trigger or switch something such as a sound, a light or a vibration on or off. Nic showed the group how to use littleBits and we added some content using our sound boxes. The group experimented with turning sounds on and off by various triggers, such as a pressure switch, slider, pulse switch, light sensor.

Sky explores Littlebits

Sky explores Littlebits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke and Cathy LittleBits

Luke and Cathy explore littleBits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LittleBits Skye and Luke

LittleBits Skye and Luke

Sian, Rachel and Guillermo try Littlebits

Sian, Rachel and Guillermo try Littlebits

 

 

The picture below shows Guillermo following an illustration of how to connect the littlBits. Each bit joins by magnets and the kit is colour coded to make it easier to use. Our Co-Researchers soon got the hang of how to connect them. We hope it might give our Co-Researchers some ideas about triggering sensory information in different ways in the museum collection at MERL. We will be doing further experiments in future workshops.

Guillermo explores Littlebits

Guillermo explores Littlebits

Reading College LLD/D Students MERL Workshop Two 14.10.13

Today we met at Reading College to develop Klikin websites with our Co-Researchers exploring our senses and how we used our senses to experience our visit to the Museum of English Rural Life MERL. You can see the Klikin Group Page HERE

The picture below shows drawings by Andy reminding us of our 5 senses:

TOUCHING, TASTING, LISTENING, SMELLING and LOOKING.

AndysDrawing

Andys Drawing

The picture below shows Andy reminding us about our five senses. The group told us about their weekend and Andy pointed out what senses they had used.

Andy Introduces the day

Andy Introduces

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sian described and demonstrated her weekend activities in this video

Rumena likes the taste of Broccoli, Skye watched a film at the cinema which had an  Ostrich in it, Guillmero loves to listen to the music of JLS, Rachel likes the smell of her pink nail varnish, Sian likes to touch the fur of her black labrador, Luke likes the taste of beer and Rachel listens to Michael Jackson.

The picture below shows the group discussing their senses and the visit to MERL last week. We used the instant pictures that Rumena and Sian took to help us remember the visit. Then Andy, Gosia, Ajay, Shauna and John from The Rix Centre introduced everyone to Klikin Websites

Co-Researchers develop Website

Co-Researchers develop Website

The picture below shows Guillermo at the computer with John helping create our website.

Guillermo creates Webpage

Guillermo  helps creates our webpage

The two pictures below show Sian building the webpage and looking happy when she had uploaded a picture.

Sian creating webpage

Sian creating webpage

 

 

Sian1

After we uploaded photos, text and sounds on to our webpage we looked at the webpage together. The Wepage has an image link for each of the senses and image link about each Co-Researcher and about the MERL. The picture below shows Rachel pointing to the link she has chosen to discuss.

Rachel points to website

Rachel points to website

Sian described the sound of metal hitting metal to caption the picture of the Anvil from the MERL collection.

Chaumchaum the sound of the anvil being hit

Chaumchaum the sound of the anvil being hit

You can see the Klikin Group Page HERE

Reading College LLD/D Students MERL Workshop One 07.10.13

We had our first sensory workshop with our new project Co-Researchers from Reading College. Students from the LLD/D (Learners with Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities) department visited MERL Museum of English Rural Life for the workshop session. From left to right they are Sian,  Guillermo, Rachel, Rachel, Skye, Luke and Rumena (who is not appearing in photos or videos, but is very active in the group and taking a lot of the photos you see here).

Reading College Group Shot

Reading College Group Shot

The group walked to MERL from Reading College with their teacher Cathy and support workers Matt, Natasha and Lin. When they arrived they were served some orange segments by Robyn (who is providing food during the workshops) and who thought this would give them energy like football players at half time after their walk to the museum. See picture below.

Oranges on arrival

Oranges on arrival

The picture below shows images of an EYE we use to SEE with, a HAND we use to TOUCH with, a TONGUE we use to TASTE with, a NOSE we use to SMELL with and an EAR we use to HEAR with. We used these images talk about our senses and which parts of the body we use to experience the five senses.

Senses Graphics

Senses Graphics

During our workshop we used all our senses to explore MERL, find out about its collection and its relation to us. We took photos, listened to and made sounds and had a farmers lunch. The picture below shows our Co-Researchers being introduced to instant cameras and sound boxes. Isabel, a curator at MERL who later took us on a tour of the museum, is standing on the right.

Group introduced to Sound Boxes and Instant Cameras

Group introduced to Sound Boxes and Instant Cameras

They soon got the hang of the camera that produced instant photos and the sound box that played 6 sounds by twisting the knob and pressing the button. We asked the group to play the sounds if they saw something in the museum that related to the sound. We asked them to take a photo of the object that made the sound. Between them they made lots of sounds and took lots of photos. Sian and Rumena took a lot of the photos while Skye, Guillermo, Luke, Rachel and Rachel matched sounds to the exhibits. The picture below shows Sian watching her photo develop she really enjoyed watching the picture appear while Skye explored the soundbox.

Sian&Skye with Camera and Sound Box

Sian & Skye with Camera and Sound Box

The picture below shows Guillermo he got on well with using the sound box.

using the soundbox

Guillermo using the soundbox

The picture below shows the group finding out about a wooden fork, the prongs were grown as separate branches, described by Isabel during our tour of the museum.

Isabel explains on tour of MERL

Isabel explains on our tour of MERL

The picture below shows Sian waiting for image to appear, she took lots of instant pictures during the tour of the museum, she liked the wheels on display.

Sian photos

Sian photos

The picture below shows an instant picture taken by Rumena or Sian of Luke trying out some of the costumes MERL have of what farmers used to wear.

Luke in farmers Hat

Luke in farmers Hat

The next two pictures below show both Rachels becoming part of an old Victorian photo.

Victorian Rachel

Rachel photographed as a victorian girl

Rachel in Victorian Photo

Rachel in Victorian Photo

After the tour we had a farmers lunch prepared by Robyn, during lunch we discussed how different foods are produced.

Eating Farmers Lunch

Eating Farmers Lunch

Robyn made a cake with cream and berries see picture below.

Robyn made a cake

Robyn made a cake

After lunch we reviewed the sounds made by the sound boxes from the morning. The group used images to match the sounds they had heard.

Matching sounds to Pictures

Guillermo matching sounds to Pictures

Then the group chose which were their favourite instant pictures using smiley stickers. The picture below shows Cathy giving Skye some stickers Rachel looking at the photos and Guillermo about to attach a sticker.

Choosing Photos

Choosing Photos by putting smiley stickers on them 

The picture below shows the instant pics with 4 smileys or less chosen by the group.

Instant pics with 4 smileys or less

Instant pics with 4 smileys or less

There was one very strange pic see below we are not quite sure how this head appears in the horses harness?

Odd pic

Odd pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next we watched some old silent farming films one about cheese making, one about ploughing and one about sheep sheering. The picture below shows the group testing out sounds they could make for the films, Rachel at the back with a horn, Rachel in the front making a whirring sound with a fan and also created a machine sound using a bicycle pump, Guillermo had a go with coconut shells to make a horse clip clop sound then he made a sloshing sound with water in a jug to sound like milk being churned to make cheese, Skye turning a handle to make a mechanical sound and Luke with a hammer to make the sound of metal on metal.

Demo sound effects1

Demo sound effects 1

Discussion with Reading Mencap at MERL

This video documents our discussion after our pilot workshop at MERL with Reading Mencap organised by our UROP student Kassie. We wanted to find out what the group enjoyed, did they like using the sound box?, what other sounds would they like to hear?, would they like to leave their own sounds? were the instant photos useful? Suggestions included a stuffed sheep that would make a sound, we liked this idea but won’t be holding a taxidermy workshop at MERL! Thanks to everyone involved.

Summer Activities Cookbook and Extra Sensory Objects

sowordle

sowordle

Over the summer the Sensory Objects team have been compiling a CookBook of Sensory Activities see more here

We have also been developing tools to use with our Co-Researchers during workshops find out more Extra Sensory Objects here

 

Pilot Workshop at MERL Museum of English Rural Life Reading

Today we held our first pilot workshop at MERL Museum of English Rural Life, in Reading. We were joined by Co-Researchers from Mencap Reading, many thanks to Miranda, Stacy, Charley, Caroline, support worker Alle and Stuart from MERL who gave us the tour. Also thanks to Kassie our project UROP student thats Undergraduate Research Opportunity Placement who devised and organised the workshop and Nic and Craig who made the sound box kit we used during the day.

The picture below was taken by Miranda using an instant camera it shows us all in the education room at MERL

Group shot by Miranda

Group shot by Miranda

The picture below is a group shot taken by Charley with the instant camera

Group with taken by Charley

Group with taken by Charley

We used two instant cameras, we asked the group to photo anything in the museum that matched sounds on special sound boxes that Nic and Craig had constructed. The picture below shows Stacy using one of the sound boxes. She turned a knob to choose sounds such as steam engine, sheep, hammering on an anvil and horses and milk bottles, then played them by pressing the button.

Stacy and sound box

Stacy and sound box

Kassie with Stacy and Caroline listen to sounds from the sound boxes.