Mediating (nonverbal) communication between persons with different cognitive abilities using interactive artifacts

Authors: Kristi Kuusk, Nithikul Nimkulrat

peer-reviewer conference paper, 2019

In a time of increasing interest in living and supporting life with mental illnesses, social design offers new tools and solutions for improving human livelihood and well-being. This paper presents student projects completed for a social design course in 2017 and 2018 at the Estonian Academy of Arts that combine traditional crafts with interaction design mindset and skills, resulting in social design work that tackles nonverbal communication with and between persons with different cognitive abilities. The paper compares the development processes of student work for a social design course from two consecutive years, sheds light on the project evaluations, future use in the real life context, and allows for a discussion of the future of design for social interaction between persons with different cognitive abilities mediated by interactive artifacts. The process of involving multidisciplinary instructors team and medical specialist into the design education process is described and reflected on.

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Suggested Citation:Kuusk, K & Nimkulrat, N. (2019). Mediating (Nonverbal) Communication between Persons with Different Cognitive Abilities Using Interactive Artifacts. In J. Häkkilä, M. Pakanen, E. Luiro, E. Mikkonen, and S. Miettinen (eds.) Around the Campfire - Resilience and Intelligence, Cumulus Conference Proceedings Rovaniemi 2019 (pp. 234–245). Rovaniemi: University of Lapland.