teaching and documenting design courses in an elementary school
A few weeks ago I partnered with Pauline Gourlet, Juliette Mancini and Ferdinand Dervieux to start building a platform coupled with a physical installation to document on the productions of schoolchildren in design courses in elementary school. This platform enables children to take pictures of their works, upload them to a personal space and publish them for other children of the class to see. A (upcoming) commenting system allows them to present and give feedbacks on one another’s works, and also to explain the evolution of their ideas and projects.
The first lesson with the first group of would-be designers focused on learning the basics of electronic circuits with conductive plasticine plugged into LEDs, actuators, and buzzers. The children had to pair up and create meaningful forms with those components. They then used the device to shoot pictures of their work and upload them in the app.
A first version of the app used during this lesson allows for the creation of profile pages with editable names and descriptions, and the upload of up to three different photos for each profile. These photos are taken with a GoPro camera, loaded via wifi and displayed live in the app where children can add them to their own gallery.
Another lesson with a second group took place yesterday and was focused on teaching the principles of typography.
The platform is still a work in progress, and it is developed with inputs from the children: either with specific requests for certain features, or by analyzing logs of their interactions with the computer. An app called ScreenFlow runs in the background and records what is shown on the screen, the movement of the mouse cursor and the face and voice of the user. This helps gather feedbacks and observing trials and errors experienced by the children in the interface.
These projects (conductive plasticine and composing typefaces) will be shown from May 20th to May 25th at the Designer’s Day in Paris along with the documentation tool.