Colloquium announcement

Faculty of Engineering Technology

Department Design, Production and Management
Master programme Industrial Design Engineering

As part of his / her masterassignment

Maudy (M.J.) Bruintjes

will hold a speech entitled:

Designing MOEM: Empowering children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in their daily life with an embodied interactive product

RoomINFORM, Designlab


Society is trying to include children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as much as possible in standard education. However, children with ASD have special needs and require more attention, which may disrupt structure in the classroom. This research-through-design project focusses on finding a design solution to support these children in their daily live situations, in particular in the classroom. The underlying aim is empowering them through an interactive, embodied product, which may improve inclusion in society.

The research is conducted in close collaboration with Laura Günnigmann, who developed a co-design method for designing a supportive product with and for children with ASD. Children diagnosed with ASD and experts on topics related to this target group were involved in the design case study. The case study resulted in a product suggestion: the MOEM (Modular Embodiment). MOEM supports children in emotion and stress regulation through various interactions.

In conclusion, this research explored the added value of an embodied product for children with ASD to help regulate stress and emotion, thereby supporting empowerment. The research resulted in 7 design guidelines: use natural embodied responses, facilitate customisation, maximize accessibility and portability, use modularity, facilitate reflection, facilitate different interactions for different circumstances and do not force or deny actions. These guidelines can assist designers who wish to use a similar method. Additionally, it might inspire designers to consider embodiment when designing for people with cognitive challenges.