Totems - Max Campbell
Rethinking how technology is incorporated into early years play
This project began as an exploration into how young children learn through play. Early discussions with experts and research working in nursery schools highlighted the concerns associated with the rise of technology as a resource in early years play. In particular, the passive nature of screen-based play and the lack of motor skills exercised when using these products.
Totems are a family of four sensory tools which combine traditional and modern elements to facilitate tactile, imaginary play for pre-school children. Each totem comprises a different sensory output which is engaged through a unique interaction - promoting early learning through simple cause and effect. The networks which afford these interactions are contained within a tactile maple body and react to either sound, touch, light or motion inputs. These inputs are processed and produce a reactive visual, haptic or audio output.
Collectively, the family of products encourage the development of both motor and vocal skills. As well as expression through exploratory and imaginary play.
The design process involved close cooperation with children and educators to help create a beneficial and variable play experience.