Ferrari: Under the Skin, A Multisensory Tour.

Venue: The Design Museum, London

Date: Saturday 17 March 2018

Edited Images.Ryan prince_12

Image: Visually impaired participants can be seen exploring samples of upholstery materials used in the making of Ferrari car seats.

The Tour

The FERRARI: UNDER THE SKIN exhibition commemorates Ferrari’s 70-year history and explores Enzo Ferrari’s inspirations, original photography, hand written letters, original drawings, and some cars from this iconic car brand. This tour for visually impaired visitors was an excellent opportunity to understand Enzo’s inspirations and to see the design and development processes that went into creating some truly remarkable cars.

The exhibition is dedicated to detailing the remorseless drive of Enzo Ferrari to create the perfect driving machine for track and road. There are 14 cars in this exhibition and our road map was to focus on a few models that carry a distinctive thread through the Ferrari history, allowing us to discover Enzo Ferrari’s passion and the continuing development of the Ferrari brand.

We looked at the 125S, the F40, an original 1:1 scale model of the J50, and the LaFerrari Aperta. This tour was also unique as we were able to deliver two tours on the same day, a testament to the popularity of the Ferrari exhibition.

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Image: Ferrari 125 S | Image Credit: Design Museum

The 125 S was the first Ferrari, an extraordinary achievement in an Italian economy devastated by the 2nd world war. This is the only existing official replica, built in 1987.

FerrariFact – Enzo Ferrari was 49 years old when this car was created.

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Image: Clay Model of the Ferrari J50 | Image Credit: Design Museum

Displayed here is an original 1:1 scale hand-crafted clay design model of the J50 which was made in 2016 in a run of only 10 cars to celebrate 50 years of Ferrari in Japan.

Experimenting with special modelling clay was first discovered in the United States in the 1920’s. Unlike normal clay, the water phase of the material was replaced with waxes and oils so that it remained soft enough to work with but firm enough to keep its form, an essential property which meant it did not dry out or harden too quickly.

The clay is initially built up more thickly than the dimensions given so the final shape is generated by a process of subtraction. Modellers continually work closely with the car designers, adjusting and appraising the car’s form as it develops.

An additional advantage of clay is that it is also possible to add material back on after it has been removed, so the process of creating a perfect car is both iterative and collaborative.

Ferrari flow line visualisation

Image: Flow line visualisation | Credit: Design Museum

Wind tunnel testing is the traditional method for developing racing car aerodynamics. Tunnel testing helps to visualise airflow over the bodywork, providing design solutions that reduce drag. Potential flow instability issues can also be resolved as accurate modelling of real world track conditions can be mimicked, providing opportunities for design solutions that can bring high-speed stability.

Fine detailing of aero sensitive areas of the car can produce substantial gains in performance and the Ferrari full scale wind tunnel test facility in Maranello allows the aerodynamicist the best opportunity to fine-tune geometry without the worry of scale effects.

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Image: Andrew can be seen describing the flow line visualisation

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Image: Ferrari logo | Image Credit: Ferrari Corporate

The Ferrari logo with its iconic Prancing Horse symbolises Italian luxury, exclusivity, performance, design and quality the world over.

According to Enzo Ferrari, after he won the 1923 circuito del Savio in Ravenna, he met the famous Count Francesco Baracca, father of the world war 1 Italian ace pilot Francesco Baracca, who had died in 1918. Ferrari also met the pilot’s mum, Countess Paolina Baracca, who suggested that he should put on his cars the prancing horse that her son had used on the side of his plane, as she thought it would bring him luck.

The original “prancing horse” on Baracca’s airplane was painted in red on a white cloud-like shape, but Ferrari chose to have the horse in black. The black color signified the grief of Baracca’s squadron after the pilot was killed in action. Ferrari’s engineering department adapted the horse so that it balanced on one leg with its tail pointed upwards.

The letters S F (Scuderia Ferrari) was initially engraved at the bottom but by 1947 the letters S F had been replaced by the Ferrari name. Then Ferrari added a canary yellow background as this is the color of the city of Modena, his birthplace. The logo is crowned with green, white and red strips, which symbolize Italian national colors.

The font of this logo is stylish and effective, highlighting the brand features of the manufacturer.

The featured car, the Ferrari F40

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Image: Ferrari F40 | Image Credit: Ferrari Corporate

The F40 was conceived as a special car to commemorate 40 years since the very first Ferrari – the 125 S. Enzo Ferrari suggested that the company did something special ‘the way we used to do’.

When the F40 was eventually announced in 1987 its Pininfarina designed body took everybody’s breath away. It was raw and mean, a car that looked like a racing model. The F40 model title was derived from “F” for Ferrari and 40 represented the fortieth anniversary of Ferrari car production. It was also the last new car presentation attended by Enzo Ferrari before his death in August 1988.

Edited Images.Ryan prince_18

Image: Andrew describes the unique features of the F40 to several visually impaired participants. The image shows the rear of the car and it’s distinctive rear wing.

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Image: LaFerrari Aperta in production | Image Credit: Design Museum

Designed for Ferrari’s most passionate clients, the LaFerrari Aperta is the new limited-edition special series model, and just 350 models of this spider version of the acclaimed LaFerrari supercar will be built.

This hybrid combines an electric motor and battery system to give a striking performance boost as well as a reduction in fuel consumption. The LaFerrari displayed in this exhibition is a white one. We normally associate all Ferraris with their trademark red colour, called “Rosso Corsa”, but buyers nowadays have a multitude of different finishes to choose from.

The workshop session.

For the workshop session, the Ferrari F40 was our model of choice. Workshop participants were able to take some of the ideas and thoughts from the tour into this session. We also had vector drawings and a 1:18 scale model to help with our attempts to create clay models of the F40.

Understanding how to convert drawings, the 2D phase of design, into more complex 3D one is key to judging volume and proportions on a real model. It is also useful for determining the car’s surfaces and for the insertion of fine details like the lights, doors and rear wing.

We were able to create a good number of clay models which looked great, especially as many were made by first-time clay modellers. We had tools like Surform blade, slicks and spatula to help clean up the surface but not really enough time to fully benefit from their use.

What was quite remarkable is the way all visually impaired participants were able to partake in the making process and how we could feel the surfaces and intersections in the clay models, observing the harmony of the shapes and the quality of the surfaces.

Edited Images.Ryan prince_22

Image: Visually impaired participants at the creative workshop waiting for modelling clay to be used in the making session. Andrew is assisted by two sighted guides.

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Image: A sighted guide and artist helps to mould the modelling clay into round palm size shapes.

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Image: Another sighted guide helps Andrew prepare the modelling clay for the making session.

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Image: Image: Visually impaired participants at the start of the workshop session.

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Image: A visually impaired participant uses the 1:18 scale model of the Ferrari F40 as he makes his clay model at the workshop session.

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Image: A visually impaired participant uses the large vector drawings to determine the scale and dimensions of his clay model Ferrari F40, at the workshop session.

Some Testimonials:

“A fascinating exhibition and fun activity after rounded off the event very well. The volunteers were excellent, and the guides were friendly and patient.” – Ema P.

“We were impressed with how much thought and preparation Andrew put into making the exhibition and its ideas accessible to the children.” – Peter W.

“The museum volunteers were excellent.” – Jessica B.

“Impressive!” – Mihay I.

Credits:

Tour Guide: Andrew Mashigo

Tour Programmer: Bernard Hay, Producer Adult Learning, Design Museum

Photography: Ryan Prince Art

Large Print Guide: MaMoMi

Copyright © 2018 The Design Museum. All Rights Reserved.

The next tour:

MULTISENSORY ARCHITECTURE TOUR

Saturday 12 May 2018
11:00 – 12:30

The sensory trail will stop at interesting features along a tour designed to explore specific physical features and a tactile walkway around and within the museum.

This is a free tour and early booking is advised.

http://www.mamomiinitiative.com

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Beazley Designs of The Year Exhibition Multisensory Tour

The Design Museum
Saturday 18 November 2017
A Multisensory tour | Blog

Beazley Designs of The Year exhibition

Every year, the Design Museum recognises worldwide excellence in design through its Beazley Designs of The Year exhibition. This year, the tenth year in the series, showcases some of the most original and exciting products, concepts and designs from the following six categories; Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport.

The tour provided our visually impaired participants with valuable insight into many of the thoughts and criteria behind current designs and concepts, and ended with the unique opportunity to explore a few original objects from the exhibition in our handling session at the end of the tour.

Edited Images. Ryan Prince_05
A Visually Impaired participant explores the Paper Mache wall by touching with her palms and then finds more detail by rubbing the wall with the tips of her fingers. She is supported by a sighted guide.

Design is all around us and affects everything we do. Will designs be the brilliant breakthrough expected, or are some just absurd experimentations? Are the expectations of some designs realistic and valuable enough for the amount of development and time put to them? Underpinning MaMoMi’s multisensory approach are a focus on the interpretation of the available information, as well as collective participation, and we continue to express and demonstrate these values in our practice.

The Tour

For this tour and workshop session, we explored four exhibits; Meet Graham, Scewo, Gita, and Nike Pro Hijab, and toured the Play Space.

Meet Graham is an interactive lifelike sculpture demonstrating human vulnerability and the bodily features that would be needed to withstand a car crash. This is partly an educational tool and partly an unforgettable public service announcement.

Meet Graham was not installed as part of the exhibition but a short film demonstrated the making and workability of the concept. It is a grotesque depiction of how a human body would need to be formed in order to best withstand a car accident. It’s features include a flat, flabby face, tough skin, a barrel-like chest and a torso like an airbag.

Meet Graham is an interactive lifelike sculpture demonstrating human vulnerability and the bodily features that would be needed to withstand a car crash
Meet Graham, an interactive lifelike sculpture

Image: Meet Graham
Credit: Transport Accident Commission

Scewo is a futuristic looking wheelchair. It is a self balancing mobility device designed by a group of students and it enables wheelchair users to reach locations that were previously inaccessible. It is designed to sit up like a regular wheelchair and has a joystick and controls attached to the end of the handlebar. The user can also use a shift in body weight to control the chair.

It has two large wheels to drive around on flat ground and an extra pair of wheels at the rear of the chair allows users to raise the chair up so that they can engage with others at eye level. It also has rubber tracks that can be lowered to the ground for increased traction, allowing it to smoothly go up and down stairs safely, even on spiral stairs. Transitioning on and off the stair is automated and accomplished by the push of a button. The design also allows for many adjustments in the seating position. Scewo is still a prototype and under active development and was viewed via a short film.

Scewo is a stairclimbing mobility device. It is a mobility device designed by a group of students and it enables wheelchair users to reach locations that were previously inaccessible
Scewo is a stairclimbing mobility device

Image: Scewo
Credit: Scewo

Gita is a robotic personal helper that carries your belongings. The company behind the Vespa scooter have made its first move into autonomous transportation with this robotic personal helper that carries your belongings for you. The two-wheeled Gita is a cargo vehicle that can track its owner and roll along behind them. It looks like a drum with two bicycle wheels attached to the outer parameter, allowing it to roll along as it navigates space.

Access to the storage compartment is via a small secure and lockable lid at the top which can be opened by a slight touch, and with a tap of a button, Gita can follow you. It is approachable and communicative, using lights, sounds and a touchscreen interface to stay in touch. Gita is tracked at all times and has a 360 degree camera.

Gita is a robotic personal assistant that carries your belongings for you
Gita is a robotic personal assistant that carries your belongings for you

Image: Gita
Credit: Piaggio Fast Forward

Nike Pro Hijab is a performance hijab by Nike that will potentially change the face of sport for Muslim women. Over recent years, meetings with top-flight athletes illuminated performance problems associated with wearing traditional hijab during competition. Specific issues with previously used garments included the garment’s weight, the potential for it to shift during action and the lack of breathability would usually disrupt the focus of the athletes during competitions.

Nike’s design team combined this information with existing Nike innovations to create the initial prototype hijabs. Equipped with the feedback and collected insight from Nike elite athletes, Nike’s design is constructed from durable single-layer Nike Pro power mesh, a breathable lightweight polyester fabric that features tiny, strategically placed holes for optimal breathability but remains completely opaque, and a soft touch. The mesh is also stretchy, so when combined with an elastic binding it allows for a personalised fit that adapts to both the wearers head and sport. Fluff threads used at the neck eliminates the rubbing and irritation that can occur when an athlete sweats. It was unveiled two days before International Women’s Day.

Nike Pro Hijab is a performance Hijab by Nike
Nike Pro Hijab is a performance Hijab by Nike

Image: Nike Pro Hijab
Credit: Nike

The exhibition tour ended with a visit to the Play Space where Nimuno Loops is installed. The Nimuno Loops tape was developed to allow Lego builders to place their creations on the walls, the ceiling, furniture and pretty much anywhere. It can be cut and can bend sideways as well. It is an extension of playing with Lego and allows for an even more creative engagement with an abundance of possibilities.

Participants were able to deconstruct, rearrange and reconstruct the play space, and this very tactile experience was truly useful as it provided opportunities for play. This also initiated the discussion around creativity through responsive design. Interestingly though, the Nimuno Loops was not developed or even officially sanctioned by the Lego company, and it is a curiosity to see how Lego responds to the increased creative functionality this sticky tape offers the Lego bricks and it’s other components.

Image: The six images posted show visually impaired participants and our sighted guides visiting the Beazley Designs of The Year exhibition.

The Workshop

The workshop session was an opportunity to physically explore some objects from the exhibition. Our handling resources included a sample of the paper mache wall, the Nike Pro Hijab, the Nimuno Loops and a few Lego brick objects.

The Nike Pro Hijab is exactly what it says it is. Constructed from durable single-layer Nike Pro power mesh, it is a breathable lightweight polyester fabric that features tiny, strategically placed holes for optimal breathability but which still remains completely opaque, and soft to the touch. Visually Impaired participants explored the hijab’s stretchy mesh which, combined with an elastic binding, allows for a personalised fit that adapts to both the wearers head and sport. At the request of the athletes, the designers placed a signature Nike swoosh just above the left ear to highlight the hijab’s pinnacle performance nature.

The paper mache wall has sustainable and recyclable qualities, and also meets the design criteria for the exhibition, exploring forward thinking methods for exhibition design and installations. This neutral coloured paper mache is a composite material consisting of paper pulp and bound with an adhesive. The sample we explored was a cut out from the actual installation and was evidence that though the exposed surface felt a bit fragile, it would actually withstand a good amount of physical handling. The rough surface felt like it would chip off easily but it remained firmly fixed on the wall. The composite material has benefits that include sound and heat insulation, and its sustainability and recyclable qualities means that when the exhibition finally closes, it will be easy to recycle. You may also perceive a soft fragrance in the paper mache, depending on the make up of the pulp.

We began to deconstruct and reconstruct the Lego brick objects, using the Nimuno Loops to create interesting variations of the objects, and making use of the tactility of the sticky tapes to rearrange the orientation and usability of the Lego bricks. This provided a really fun experience for our visually impaired participants.

A Visually Impaired participant can be seen trying on the Nike Pro Hijab, with the assistance of a sighted guide
A Visually Impaired participant can be seen trying on the Nike Pro Hijab, with the assistance of a sighted guide
Andrew, the tour facilitator, explains the benefits of the paper mache wall.
Exploring a section of the sample of paper mache wall.


The Next Tour

The next tour is the DESIGNER MAKER USER Tour: the USER experience.

This tour and workshop session will hold on Saturday 13 January 2018, from 11:00 – 12:30.

We will continue our exploration of the Designer Maker User exhibition, and investigate design and the user experience. One question is, how does design interact with our senses, as users? A workshop session will allow participants to co-design new objects that respond to the themes discussed.

This is a free tour but booking is necessary. Please book by visiting the Design Museum website, via the link here Designer Maker User tour.

Please meet in the atrium at 10.45am.

Credits

Multisensory Tour Facilitator: Andrew Mashigo.

Tour Programmer: Bernard Hay, Producer Adult Learning, Design Museum.

Large Print Guide: MaMoMi.

Image credits: MaMoMi Images, except where mentioned otherwise.

Photography: Ryan Prince Art, for MaMoMi Images © All rights reserved

Copyright © The Design Museum 2017

Design and Play: Exploring Designer Maker User

The Design Museum | 9 September 2017

The Design and Play tour of the Designer Maker User collection at the Design Museum was our opportunity to review the impact of play in design, taking a view of creative play and concluding with an opportunity to design and make unique objects.

Taking a tour of Design Museum’s permanent collection, the Designer Maker User exhibition, you note that the almost 1,000 items of twentieth and twenty-first century design objects on display viewed design through the angles of and the continuing interaction between the designer, manufacturer and user.

Image: The meet and greet prior to the tour, and start of the tour at the entrance of the Designer Maker User exhibition
Image credit: MaMoMi images © All rights reserved
Photographs: Ryan Prince Art

The Timeline of Design
The pre-industrial era was a period when everyday objects were made by craftsmen in a process shaped by skill and precedent. The rapid growth of Industrialisation from the 18th century introduced greater possibilities for creating designs in great volume but many observers and users still wanted to protect the dignity of craftsmanship.

Rejecting Industrialisation gained momentary drive in the mid 19th century but the opportunity to deliver mass-produced products, made in less time, and meeting standardised specifications with the use of machine production realised through batch production, made business sense and encouraged the modern designer to embrace the idea of machine and industry.

Creative Play
Many experts believe that a child’s early experience of play have a formative effect on their motor skills and on their psychological and emotional development. This tour draws on the benefits of play in the design process, particularly highlighting traditional crafting and making processes, using elements of creative play that explores our senses as we explore various materials and different elements of creativity.

Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul” – Friedrich Froebel, Designer (1782 – 1852)

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Image: At the Creative Play display, Designer Maker User exhibition
Image credit: MaMoMi images © All rights reserved
Photograph: Ryan Prince Art

The Creative Workshop
The design of a product involves a range of steps that can include goal setting, research, getting a design brief, fabrication, testing and implementation. This tour and workshop helps us better understand the uniqueness of traditional craft-making methods while sharing the benefits of mechanised mass-production methods. But we will make sure it is also about play and having fun.

Play is an important part of the growth of a child but as we develop into adults, we stop playing so much. We get so bugged-down by work that we forget the value of play. During this workshop led by Lynn Cox, a visually impaired creative practitioner and freelance disability and visual equality trainer, we use craft-making processes to create several objects of design.

Image: Workshop activity in the Creative workshop
Image credit: MaMoMi images © All rights reserved
Photograph: Ryan Prince Art

Closing Note: Advocating for social Inclusion
An important goal of an access programme is to provide accommodations that enables individuals with a disability to participate fully and independently in social life, and the museum encourages its disabled visitors to participate in its public programme.

One way of approaching this, from a personal point of view, is to enhance opportunities and encourage an environment where able and disabled visitors can together participate in public events. The idea that events or activities should be reserved only for a particular audience causes or promotes marginalisation, or put in another way, social exclusion. Social Inclusion challenges barriers, values and behaviours, and by creating an inclusive learning environment, we actively support the goals of an inclusive society.

Social Inclusion is the process of improving the ability, opportunity, and dignity of people, disadvantaged on the basis of their identity, to take part in society.” – World Bank, 2013

The Design Museum’s multisensory tours are a key event for our disabled visitors but we also encourage other audiences to participate in our tours and events, especially when it does not deny a disabled visitor the opportunity to participate in the said event(s).

This Design and Play tour had its highest ratio of sighted participants to date, making up approximately half the number of participants, and is something we will continue to monitor and advocate. It is important to us that we continue to be an agency of positive social change.

A huge thank you goes to Bernard Hay, Producer, Adult Learning, Design Museum, to Lynn Cox, our workshop facilitator, and our sighted guides for their continued support.

Our next tour:
The next tour at the Design Museum is on Saturday 18th of November and will visit the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition, taking a snapshot of the very best in innovative and contemporary design from the past year. More information to be published soon.

Andrew Mashigo
Founder and Freelance facilitator
MaMoMi

The Designer Maker User: A Design Museum Tour

This was an Introductory tour of Designer Maker User, the Design Museum’s permanent exhibition. The tour explored the exhibition’s displays and exhibits and was designed to provide an introduction to contemporary design, looking at the ways in which we engage with design.

On what turned out to be a really beautiful sunny day in Kensington, London, on the morning of Saturday 10 June 2017, we met our blind and visually impaired Design Museum visitors at the museum entrance and went up to the second floor where the DMU exhibition is installed.

Some Curiosities And Thoughts.
Design has evolved over time and this session was designed to provide a discourse around the continuing interaction between designers, makers and users, and the development of the role of design. Some of my questions were;

  • Have our human needs helped shape our design needs?
  • Have all design inventions been of a necessity or out of a desire?
  • Have we (users) shaped design or has design shaped the way we live?

The Tour.
Our participants were taken up to the entrance of the DMU, noting the timeline that graces the entrance to the exhibition. The earliest entry on the timeline was from 1759 with Josiah Wedgwood and the birth of design, following three different industrialisation periods through to the 3rd Industrial Revolution of the 21st century, with 2012 the last entry on that timeline.

As the DMU features almost 1,000 items of twentieth and twenty-first century design, I decided we would view a small selection of objects. The Anglepoise, the wooden Kitchen model, Olympic torch, Phonosuper SK5 record player, the Juicy Salif and BigRep One 3D printer were our stops along the tour of the exhibition.

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The Anglepoise Lamp by George Cowardine

Image: The Anglepoise Lamp by George Cowardine.
Image credit: The Design Museum.

I enjoyed viewing innovative designs and the 3D printer. I learnt a lot more about the origin of design and the processes – James Hallam

Our final stop on the tour was the BigRep One 3D Printer. Not surprisingly, this was a really big winner, providing real-life examples of 3D objects that could both be handled and tested. Additive manufacturing, the process in which 3D printer layer and produces items, has brought a transformation of the 3D printer from laboratory equipment into a consumer product.

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3D printed objects produced by the BigRep One 3D printer

Image: Some 3D printed objects produced by the BigRep One 3D printer.
Image credit: MaMoMi.
All objects property of the Design Museum.

The Creative Workshop.
The workshop gave us an opportunity to review the introduction to DMU and discuss any observations identified on the tour. We explored some objects in the museum’s handling collection, helping to enhance the limited exploration during the tour. Products like the Anglepoise Original Type 1227, designed by George Cowardine, with its unique spring based aluminium arm mechanism, the Juicy Salif by Philippe Starck and its sleek and abstract design which was unfortunately only a triumph of form over function because of the several issues with steam from the sprout scalding the user, and therefore discontinued, to the Lilliput Salt and Pepper set designed by Stefano Giovannoni for Alessi, were all great items to have lengthy discussions around.

As users, the participants left with a really valuable knowledge of the design processes, and some of the criteria designers and makers have to iterate over in the decisions to create, design and manufacture products.

It was really good looking at the different iconic design items and also lear how design came about and has changed over the years – Ramona Williams

Images.
Top left: Participants next to the BigRep 3D Printer.
Top right: At the Creative Workshop.
Bottom: Participants, Companions and the facilitator Andrew Mashigo in the Creative Workshop.
Image credit: MaMoMi

Credits:
Multisensory Tour Facilitator: Andrew Mashigo, MaMoMi.
Tour Programmer: Bernard Hay, Producer Adult Learning, Design Museum.
Banner Image of Designer Maker User Exhibition: Luke Hayes.

#newdesignmuseum #designermakeruser #mamomi

Bike-Ability: The Cycle Revolution

Bicycle wheel placed on a table, showing the spokes in detail

In an era when cycling has become one of the main ways of getting around, and for many, a way of getting around the city cheaper, it is clear that the cycling boom is here to stay. The increase in the last decade, with some statistics claiming it to be as high as 60%, has seen bicycles make up 25% of the vehicles in the morning commute. That’s an outstanding figure!

Bike-Ability: The Cycle Revolution, was held Saturday 9th of April, and was a multisensory tour in response to the current Cycle Revolution exhibition at Design Museum, London. The exhibition runs from 18 November 2015 to 30 June 2016, celebrating the diversity of contemporary cycling in Britain from every day commuting to Olympic level competition, and looking at where design and innovation may take the riders of the future.

The Studio Session:

Participant holding up a bicycle wheel on a table, with her hands at the centre of the spokes, and about 1 foot away from her face.
Image: A participant exploring a Cycle Wheel and it’s Spokes.

The tour started in the 1.5 studio with a discussion around current accessibility issues and some of the implementation of reasonable adjustment by institutions and other work places. Our focus on this tour was to explore materials and function, and how these materials used in the design of bicycles affects their function and usability. The history of bike-making itself reveals a host of materials, from steel, which is very tough but very heavy, to aluminium which is a lot lighter and will not rust, unlike steel, to the carbon fibre bikes which are almost 4 times stronger than steel but a lot more expensive, to the bamboo bikes, which have been quoted as been stronger by weight than steel.

So my question, to get us started, was to ask what memories we have of our first bicycles as kids, and what that experience was like?

Participant holding a bicycle frame, at chest height, and exploring the tactile detail of the A-frame.
Image: A participant handling the Bicycle A-frame.

We compared steel, aluminium and carbon fibre frames and quite evidently, it was clear that the aluminium frame was a lot lighter than the steel frame and it also does not rust like the steel frame will, but the carbon fibre frame was much lighter than the aluminium frame but also a lot more expensive.

Almost 4 times stronger than steel, the lightweight carbon fibre frame can be woven into shapes that metals cannot be made into, and where metals need welding at corners and joints, carbon fibres can be woven in one complete shape. Its durability makes it the choice of Olympic and all tour de France cyclists.

Participant holding a loop wheel close to her as she runs her hands around the rubber wheel
Image: A participant holding the loopwheel close to her and running her hands around the wheel.

The Loopwheel is a bicycle wheel that looks very much like a wheelchair or pushchair wheel and it uses an alternative to spokes to provide a more comfortable ride. The loopwheel springs which are the blue parts of the wheel positioned to replace bicycle spokes are constructed from carbon composite strips developed in conjunction with an archery bow manufacturer. These provide massive shock absorption so that what would have been a bumpy rides becomes a perfectly smooth ride. They are a lot more expensive than the regular wheels but do not need the maintenance that spokes may need.

Participants holding the UltraBike kit and Julie from UltraCane stands in-between them explaining how it works
Image: Participants holding the UltraBike as Julie from UltraCane explains how the technology works.

The UltraBike is an ultrasound kit designed to allow blind or visually impaired riders to cycle independently. The kit fixes onto the centre of the handlebars on any bicycle and is completely detachable.

The kit contains two ultrasound sensors that are positioned on the front, and these sensors point directly forward but also angled slightly outwards by 5 degrees. This ensures that the sensors can detect not just what is in front of the cyclist but also what is on either side of them.

This is the UltraBike kit's factor arm on the table, with the yellow button sensor showing.
Image: The tactor button on the arm of the UltraBike kit vibrates when the sensors detect an obstacle.

The tactor button is like an antenna that is used by touching, and the word tactor itself comes from the latin word tangier, which means to touch. The tactor buttons will vibrate when the sensors detect the boundary of the cycle track that is ridden around, giving ample warning so the cyclist is able to steer away from obstacles and stay on course.

Future Bike: Live Challenge:

The future bike live challenge explored the future of bicycle building and the Bamboo Bicycle Club with the Autumn Yard Design Collective were at hand to show our participants some of the processes involved in making a bamboo bike. This session was not just about building a bamboo bike because the challenge pushed the limits of their bamboo bike frames with the unique addition of 3D printed, carbon fibre reinforced lugs.

A participant holds 2 bamboo frames at chest height and smiles as she places the bamboo sticks in the shape of a cross.
Image: A participant holds 2 bamboo frames together, smiling as she feels the texture and strength of the bamboo.

Bamboo is said to be stronger by weight than steel, which means 5 kilograms of bamboo gives you more strength and tensility than 5 kilograms of steel. That is why we hear of bamboo bridges and multi-story scaffolding in places like Vietnam.

Building performance bamboo bicycles is an intensive and lengthy process but when done properly, the rewards can be great, producing bicycle frames that are both stiff and durable, nimble and confident, and lively and smooth.

A bamboo bike displayed at the Design Museum.
Image: A bamboo bike displayed at the entrance of the Design Museum.

Bamboo Bicycle Club conceived the idea to combine high-tech, open-source 3D printed components, with low tech, naturally sourced bamboo tubes. Teaming up with Oxford Brookes who specialise in the testing and analysis of 3D printed technology, vital expertise has gone into the realisation of this project.

Using 3D printed, carbon fibre reinforced lugs and bamboo frames, the goal is to prototype an open source bike that can be easily replicated by anyone.

The UltraBike Demonstration:

The UltraBike kit mounted on a bicycle and ready to use.
Image: The UltraBike kit mounted on a bicycle and ready to use.

We had a demonstration of the UltraBike with our participants and got to understand how the technology works in real life situation. The sensors detect at a range of 8 metres though this setting can be changed to suit the specific requirements of a cycle track.

On this occasion and as we were at the museum’s premises, we did not have a cycle track to test the full range and capability of the UltraBike but we did give all participants the opportunity to test how the kit feels to the touch, how easy the controls were to use, and how the various range settings allow the cyclist to detect things well ahead of themselves. This is a biomimicry of how bats and dolphins use sonar feedback and echolocation to find their way around.

Participant about to get on the UltraBike
Image: A participant about to have a short trial run on the UltraBike.

By giving the rider the ability to detect obstacles well ahead of themselves, the UltraBike range detection will allow the cyclist time to turn into a bend without cycling too acutely into or off the side of the track. The nearer you get to an obstacle or the boundary of the track, the higher the level of vibration. An understanding of the intricate feedback from the sensors helps the rider define the layout of the space around and this is what gives the rider the manoeuvre-ability to ride around a supervised cycle track, and in cycling clubs.

Cycle Revolution exhibition runs from 18 November 2015 to 30 June 2016.

Credits:
Handling objects property of the Design Museum
UltraBike kit, by UltraCane
Bamboo Bike, by Bamboo Bicycle Club

Note:
The Design Museum will be closing its current site on 30 June 2016, and will relocate to the former Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington, to open on 24 November 2016.

MaMoMi. All rights reserved 2016


 

 

Displacement and Migration: mapping and soundscape

Designers in residence is a core part of Design Museum’s programme. Now in its 9th year, it reflects the museum’s commitment to providing support for designers in the early part of their careers.

The 2015 exhibition focuses on the theme of Migration, with four designers selected for their innovation and original thinking. Stephanie Hornig, Chris Green, Alexa Pollman and Hefin Jones were the Designers in Residence 2015.

The plan:

The Displacement and Migration multisensory tour was held on Saturday 9 January, and to have a good opportunity to investigate the narrative and critical nature of this exhibition, we divided the tour into three areas; Migration and Displacement, Migration and Mapping, and Migration and Soundscape.

The subject:

Migration and Displacement.
We can’t really talk about Migration without making a reference to what has been described as probably the world’s worst human tragedies, the current forced migration of people affecting parts of Eastern Europe and the Middle East. There is an argument against such a major displacement of people but research reveals that human migration has happened throughout history:

▪The biblical Exodus of the Israelite’s in the Old Testament records that “about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children” left Egypt. –   Exodus 12:37

▪ In Quebec history, 925,000 French Canadians were said to have left for the United States between 1840 and 1930, mostly due to political and economic reasons.

▪One of the greatest waves of immigrants to the USA was during the 1820’s to 1890’s, when more than 5 million immigrants arrived in America from Ireland and Germany.

▪Between the 16th and 19th centuries, about 11 million Africans were forced into slavery and brought to the Americas.

▪The Jewish Exodus from Arab and Muslim countries saw the Jewish migration include nearly all the 140,000 Jews from Algeria emigrating, mostly to France after Algerian independence in 1962.

Migration involves movement, mobility and transition and we can explore that idea with several objects, systems and processes. Objects are ideal for exploring spatial displacement and this tour uses definitive elements like form, shape, texture and density to explain its day-to-day manifestation. One question we asked was; do you know animals like the Caledonian bird use flexible thinking to solve multi-stage problems? When tested, a crow knows that dropping stones or gravel into a half-filled jar of water will cause the water level to rise to the top, making access to the water easier.

The Hourglass is another excellent object to explore elements of the cause and effect of material displacement. You clearly hear the sound of the sand travelling from one part of the hourglass to the other.

Migration and Mapping:
Chris Green’s Aerial Futures display shows 2 four-engine and 1 three-engine drone each mounted on metal stands. Chris’s practice forges new relationships between people, place and the city and this display was a main part of our interrogation of movement, mapping, surveillance and tracking.

It is worth noting that though most drones are 4-engine, Octocopters or eight-engine drones are more efficient for high-risk or longer range use so that a possible failure to the first set of engines is not terminal, allowing for extraction of the device from its operation.

Drone by Chris Green
Image: Chris Green’s  4-engine drone.
Copyright Chris Green, Drone 2015

Drones have become increasingly popular with flying enthusiasts but are also famously and excellently used in extensive and long-range research and activities like monitoring, surveillance and exploration. Because they are silent, precise and can be operated from a distance without detection, drones have excellent use during war, for exploring space and researching volcanoes. They are also used in farming and for mapping terrains.

A good example is the use of drones during the investigation of Katla, Iceland’s most active and dangerous volcano. Scientists are able to monitor seismic activity by capturing aerial images which detail 3D maps of the area. They also place monitors as close as possible to the core of the eruptions so GPS tracking systems gather data, which they feedback in real time.

Using Telematics is key to the work that goes on during mapping. Telematics are devices that merge telecommunications and infomatics and this includes anything from GPS systems to navigation systems. We see them featured in anything from vehicle trackers to hands-free mobile calling, and our mobile phones are an example of a Telematics device.

Animals also have very sophisticated processes and tracking abilities that help with mapping. An example is how bats use echoes from clicks to convey not only their distance to a target, but also the size, shape, speed, and vector of the objects movement. The bloodhounds ability to track game, the humpback whale’s ability to migrate from Antarctica to eastern Australia to give birth and mate during the winter and spring, and the rattle snake’s ability to track its prey after striking are among varying elements of tracking and mapping that are constantly used by animals and in wildlife.

Echolocation allows dolphins to tell the difference between types of fish, and can identify size, shape and weight by the echo that comes back to them. They can also easily discern the difference between objects that are different in material composition, even if visually identical, by their different densities.

Alexa Pollman’s Indivicracy display is about the concept of a future nation where a new form of government for the 21st century is created, in which societies exist without borders or territory. Allowing for free movement, the citizen’s are constantly moving between places, with governance in place to protect individuals who choose to migrate borders of settled societies.

Trackpack. For DM Jan blog
Image: Alexi Pollman’s Trackpack.
Copyright Alexi Pollman, Trackpack 2015.

Alexi also challenges the current notion of “wear” and her display suggests ideas for future garments like the super-insulated gloves called Typers, the masks, the Jumping-jackers shoes and the Trackpack, what i can only describe as a one-piece raincoat attached to a back-pack and constructed into a shopping trolley on wheels.

Migration and Soundscape.
Sound is transmitted from a source to the surrounding air when particles vibrate or collide, and this vibration passes the sound energy along to our ears. Without any particles to vibrate, we would not hear the sound. With this knowledge, our activity explored various sounds and recorded our responses.

Sound exercise at the Design Museum

Using the learning studio, our Soundscape activity involved the use of six different sounds. Participants listened to and identified various sounds at intervals, and were asked what each sound represented to them. They could either draw or name their response, whether as a visual representation or an emotion, and the results were really interesting. Participants said they experienced various emotions, from elation, nostalgia, happiness to soothing relaxation.

The next tour:
The next multisensory event will tour the current Cycle Revolution exhibition at the end of march. This tour will examine the revolution of bicycle design, and investigate material and function. It will also include a demonstration of a bicycle for the blind and visually impaired.

More information, date and booking details will be uploaded to Design Museum’s website shortly.

MaMoMi. All rights reserved 2016.

Displacement and Migration: A multi-sensory tour

The next multi-sensory tour at the Design Museum is titled Displacement and Migration.

Design Museum Jan tour
Design Museum, Shad Thames, London
Date: Saturday 9 January 2016
Time: 14:00

This tour will investigate migration, displacement and movement. Starting at Designers in Residence 2015, this tour will highlight elements of movement and mapping. The tour includes a session in the museum’s Learning studio, to explore the resources and enable discussion around movement and mapping.

Tours are free for blind and partially sighted visitors and their companions, including exhibition entry.

Advance booking is recommended but not essential. The tour meets in the museum foyer 10 minutes before the session is due to begin.

If you are interested in this tour, please use the online form here or call +44 (0)20 7940 8782.

Read more at: http://designmuseum.org/plan-your-visit/access/touch-tours/displacement-and-migration-a-multi-sensory-tour#sthash.l5R5nK5l.dpuf

Walking: A lifestyle?

Walking: A lifestyle? is the latest in a series of multisensory tours programmed at the Design Museum, London, and was held on Saturday 3 October.

Walking: A lifestyle?

Investigating the sense and smell of shoes and the lifestyle of walking, this tour explores the current Camper exhibition, LIFE ON FOOT, taking us through the shoe-making process before closing with a walk in the local area.

Camper: LIFE ON FOOT.
This is the first exhibition of the Spanish footwear brand Camper, who in celebrating 40 years of shoe-making in the island of Mallorca, is showcasing their traditional shoe-making skills and contemporary design practice, giving visitors an insight into the processes involved in the design and manufacture of their shoes. Laid out in 7 sections, the exhibition covers Designing, Making, Materials and meaning, Communication, History, Global and Life on foot II.

The display:
As you step through the entrance, you note the distinct smell of rubber, dominating the look and feel of the exhibition. Rubber is a key component for making shoes and black rubber was used in covering much of the display units and the activity space. The other thing you almost immediately feel is the sense of scale and height, something that was quickly noted by some of our visually impaired participants.

Camper at the Design Museum
At the entrance to the Camper exhibition.

Walking through the Designing section, the display of shoes on the left shows a range of lasts, soles and uppers, all of which are not touchable. To the right, as you go through the Making section, you note a display of tools and different materials. Along the room towards the Materials and Meaning section is a display of a variety of Pelotas, one of Camper’s most successful shoes, the name Pelotas in itself meaning ball. Uniquely, all Pelotas have 87 balls on their soles.

Several videos show the manufacturing process, with one in particular showing over forty stages of footwear production, from drawing and pattern-making, all the way to molding, kneading, stitching and packaging. An extensive display of Wabi, a pioneering shoe that explored the potential for sustainability in footwear, shows Camper’s experimentation with different materials. Cork, polypropylene, wool, mint, lavender leaf, coconut and upholstery were used as a composite to make the uppers for Wabi. Though not financially viable for the company, this was a very innovative approach to some of their design and production processes. Also on display were swatches of various types of natural and synthetic upper materials like leather and nubuck, where the different textures, thickness and weights could be felt.

Over-view of the shoe-making process:
The opportunity to review the shoe-making process was a very valuable part of this tour. Several of the participants noted that getting a better understanding of how shoes are constructed was fascinating, something they thoroughly enjoyed. Using the Activity space, we benefited from the expertise of Diana Mashigo, a Footwear designer and Pedorthist, who gave an in-depth presentation of the many stages involved in the design and making of bespoke shoes, some of which we see below.

Drawing the outline of our feet  Cast of the feet The shoe-making session Foot skeleton

Image 1: Drawing an outline of the foot is the initial stage when taking detailed measurements. Using the same principle, taking a foot print using a Harris Mat will show the varying areas of pressure on the soles of the feet, enabling a bespoke maker to create footwear specific for the users needs.
Image 2: This is a cast of a person’s foot. A bespoke last can be created from the mold.
Image 3: This was a verbal description of the importance and relationship between shoes and foot health. Here, you see two of the participants.
Image 4: The foot skeleton shows the anatomy of the foot, with the facilitator explaining how the foot functions. The lasts (the yellow and wooden foot-shaped items on the table) dictates the width, shape, heel height and size of the shoes.

The tour closed with a walk in the local area, taking-in the views of the south-side of river Thames. For many, walking is a natural part of moving around, while others include walking as part of their exercise routine. Others find walking can be great mental stimulus, sometimes taking inspiration from the views along their walk.

Whatever you do with walking, we know it is a great part of our well-being. Next time you take a walk, reflect on what it means to you, and make observations of how it influences the way you feel.

Camper: LIFE ON FOOT, continues till November 1 2015.

The next multisensory tour at the Design Museum, Displacement and Migration, is scheduled for Saturday January 9 2016, from 2pm.
Booking information will be published in Design Museum’s website Access page.

Top two images used permission of Design Museum. All other images are by MaMoMi. 2015

LUMO at Design Museum: Exploring Light and Sound

The multisensory tour at Design Museum, titled Light, Sound and the Built Environment, which took place on Saturday 11 July, used new technologies in the museum’s collection and current exhibitions to explore the senses of light and sound, and how technology has in itself been used to improve our lives. Among the devices explored were Lumo, Leaf Light, Light Scores and the Responsive Street Furniture.

The multisensory approach allows us to communicate in ways not previously appreciated, enabling a richer, more valuable experience for users. These tours take an objective approach to interpretation and involve our participants in an engaging and insightful dialogue around the object explored. We believe that interpretation should be about sharing and learning through exploration.

Lumo at Design Museum 1
Visually impaired participant using LUMO.

About LUMO:
LUMO is a small, portable and affordable real time graphic reader which enables blind and visually impaired to read shapes, graphs, diagrams and colour directly from paper, textbook or sketch book. It converts black lines into vibration and translates colour into sound. On our live test during this tour, we found that it was particularly useful for blind people, especially those with no colour or light reference.

Designed by Anna Wojdecka in 2013 and first exhibited at the Royal College of Art show in 2014, LUMO was specially developed to enable blind people read and draw shapes, graphs and diagrams and also recognise colours. Even though its still in early phases of development it has already been recognised by users, RNIB and the health tech industry for its capacity to change lives and open up new fields of study to the blind and visually impaired, and for its innovation and inventiveness. The model we tried was the prototype, as seen above, but the final design will look like this, in the image below.

Lumo prototypeLUMO reads the surface of a page and translates graphical data into tactile and sound feedback. It converts black lines into vibration and colours into sound tones. Each colour calibrates to a different sound pitch, allowing the blind person identify the various hues of colour. For a first time user, you will have to make the sound reference to each colour, for example, the single tone is a primary colour (yellow, blue or red), while the double tonal sound comes from secondary colours (green, violent and orange), the mixture of primary colours. On the colour chart we used, you noticed that blue has the lowest pitch and yellow was the highest. The other colours have double tones because they represent the sound of the 2 or more primary colours used to make up that colour. Watch the video below to see and hear Lumo in action.


LUMO designer Anna demonstrates how it works.

When exploring black lines or colours, the LUMO creates a vibration. The black and white LUMO reader vibrates to indicate lines. Our visually impaired participants were very impressed with the use and functionalities of LUMO and are also aware that the device is still in development.

LUMO is an affordable real-time solution which makes existing learning environments more inclusive, as well as enriching the interaction between blind and sighted students.

Lumo at Design Museum 2

If you are keen to explore how LUMO works, or want to plan a multisensory tour around the LUMO device, please feel free to contact us via email at info@mamomiinitiative.com.
You can also contact us via twitter at @mamomi_i


The next multisensory tour:
The next multisensory tour at Design Museum is scheduled for October 3 2015, and titled WALKING: A LIFESTYLE? This tour will explore walking as a lifestyle and will include a session exploring the shoe-making process, as well as a walk around the local area. Booking information will be published on Design Museum website soon so please keep watching for details.

Design Museum Tour LUMO at Design Museum
All LUMO images used by permission. 2015
A special thank you to Anna Wojdecka, designer of LUMO, for co-facilitating this tour.

LIGHT, SOUND AND THE ENVIRONMENT: A new Design Museum multisensory tour

The Design Museum have designed a new series of multisensory tours and the first one in the series is scheduled to hold on Saturday 11 July 2015.

This July multisensory tour, titled Light, Sound and the Environment, will explore how light and sound have been used to identify colour, and how we in turn respond to objects and items in the built environment.

Design Museum Tour. July 2015

The Design Museum continues to offer exhibition tours to its blind and visually impaired visitors, and this multisensory tour gives the opportunity to engage with objects from the museum’s Designs of the Year 2015 and Collection Lab.

Light, Sound and The Environment takes place on Saturday 11 July 2015, at 14:00.

To book on this tour, please call +44 (0)20 7940 8782. You can also view their website for more information at www.designmuseum.org

Tours are available free of charge, including museum entry, for groups of 2 – 6. Please call to discuss any specific needs.
The tours last approximately 1.5 hours and take place in the exhibition space.
Tours must be booked in advance.

Image and information used in collaboration with The Design Museum, London.