Image below shows the Easy Read programme for the first meeting of the purpleSTARS Advisory Group.
PurpleSTARS Advisory Group Session one Sept 1st
Sensory Objects co-researchers from the Tower Project agreed to become our purpleSTARS Advisory Group they will help us form the Sensory Objects Enterprise alongside business advice from EVOLVE Strategic Marketing Consultant Louise Moger.purpleSTARS Advisory Group:
purpleSTARS 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 with the group
Online feedback questionnaire
The picture below shows the purpleSTARS Advisory Group SELFIE after the first session at RIX research & media.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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,
The picture below shows Mabel Coopers Medical Certificate from 1957.
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.”
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 .
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Picture below shows feeling the texture of Sam’s Sensory Label, the smell was a smell of seaside.
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
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
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
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
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
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
The picture below shows Justin’s Sensory Label proving a hit with a visitor.
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
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
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.
Katy and her Sensory Label
Katy and Mark charm the snake
A charming the snake
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
Matt and Andy try phone box
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.
We had the first interactive sensory workshop today with the Access to Heritage Forum at the Museum of Liverpool.
The day went really well it was great to meet everyone and discuss how we will work together on the research project as participative researchers and how the group may document vists and workshops with various cameras we tried out in the workshop.
Some of the group had worked on the Sensory Trail at Speke hall, we talked about the objects and workshops from then. We started by wondering what interactive sensory objects could be. We looked at some everyday objects exploring how we use them and what was the effect of using them.
The objects included a fan, a feather boa, some gloves with rubbery bits on them, a hat made from bubble wrap, bicycle horns, violet sweets, a bright green polishing mit, a bar of soap, brushes, a jar of lemon zest. The group explored each object and what associations they made from the various tastes smells and sounds. We thought about how all these objects are in some way interactive, physical…then nick demonstrated an object that used electronics to make interactions. We thought about the differences and similarities of the objects. Nic demonstrated a Bend sensor which made a smiley face smile.
Then the group tested some cameras to discover how easy they were to use and what aids could be made to make documenting the research and become more accessible.
The group gave us an insight into the problems they experience using cameras we wrote their thougts on colour stars on the cameras.
K liked the sound of the Polaroid camera this was felt to be important for those with visual impairment it made it clear when and how many pictures had been taken.
D felt it was important that the Polaroid gave an instant physical result.
P L found the camera too bulky and hard to hold.
The Nikon cool pics camera was liked by the group the camera has a touch screen you can swipe through the images in a similar way to an iPad.
P had a lot of comments about it he liked it because it has one button for video and one for stills P also liked the strap as he was worried about dropping some of the equipment.
A liked the Sony cyber shot because it only had 2 buttons.
Most of the group liked using the iPad to take photos although some found it difficult to which button to press.
They all enjoyed viewing images on the ipad, it’s big screen and scrolling through the images.
The group found the Sony video camera had too many buttons?
A found the Kodak Flip camera easy to use with its big button but she and E found it hard to review the footage.
We discussed ways we could attach the Drift helmet camera to L’s wheelchair, she enjoyed having the camera held at her eye level by the clamp, and being able to see the screen but it was a bit small.
Images taken by the Drift wheel chair mounted camera
We discussed recording the sound of the poloroid so it could be used as sound on an iPad. We also discussed using a mini printer to have instant digital pics. Nick will make a holder for P to be able to hold the camera with one hand.
Some Additional Thoughts
A summary of the demonstration of sensors at the first Liverpool Museum workshop. Thoughts collectively by Nic and Faustina.
We used only a limited number of sensors to demonstrate some of the things that can be done to bring about changes in sound and visual displays. The intention in this workshop was just to introduce the idea of sensors to participants, and let them ‘play’ with these unfamiliar objects, and see what they do, as it is unlikely they will have come across anything like this before.
This was limited to making a smiley face smile (or not) by flexing a strip of plastic. Bend it into a ‘U’ shape and the face smiles, but when straight it is neutral. But some participants used the sensor in unexpected ways:
shaking it, by holding one end
tapping on the table, by holding one end
using it with one hand and bending it against the body
twisting it lengthways
flexing it in both directions
Perhaps we could extend the range of possibilities of the sensor by allowing for these different ways of using it? One thing that was missing from this sensor was texture – it is currently plain plastic, and smooth to the touch.
Although the touch sensor was easy to use (didn’t require any explanation other than ‘touch here’) … most people touched it multiple times, or tapped it, and often didn’t notice the change in sound. Part of this might have been because of the volume of background noise (making the sound difficult to hear) and perhaps also because the sounds were changes in instrument.
One or two people ‘stroked’ the touch sensor, which I thought would be a nice modification for the next session. Rather than just touch on/off, a surface which responds to touching, stroking – different forms of stroking behaviour?
Not many people tried this as they were distracted by other things (taking pictures). The few who did try this out did not notice the effect of blowing. This might have been because the screen was hard to see, or perhaps also because of the action required, and the resulting animation. I don’t know. It needs a more obvious cue .. perhaps a ‘thing’ to blow into?
A few additional bits … (Nic’s observations)
These are the notes I made when we were collecting the feedback from the participants. Some of the observations will overlap with those above.
People generally liked the sounds made when pressing the button (although it was in a position that made it difficult to use), as it helped to know when you had taken a picture. Having the picture appear right away, and a physical object to handle was liked by most people, though the weight of the camera was a worry – concern about dropping it.
Generally liked, though a bit big and also concern about dropping it. Liked the big screen, and found the buttons okay, but some people found the capture button difficult to locate.
Awkward to use and too small. Buttons difficult to use, particularly when using just one hand. On a more positive note, liked the fact it only had two buttons.
Easy to use, and easy to watch the videos and find the photos that had been taken, though I didn’t get a good idea of why this was favoured. Liked being able to take pictures by touching screen. (Need more information here.)
Simple to take pictures, but other functions were not. Difficult to figure out how to turn on. Hard to find pictures and review videos. Buttons too small.