Make a move : a multi-sensory, movement coordinated furnishing support system for children with ADHD : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Design

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Massey University
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We must allow the time to think more deeply and broadly about our [design] . . . Deep inquiry . . . is critical . . . Broader thinking also helps us break out of our current mindset. Looking [differently] can reveal new opportunities, and challenge more entrenched thinking. [Laurel, Brenda. Design Research, Methods and Perspectives. MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England, 2003, 148.] The contemporary school chair is representative of the conflict between established traditional student behaviour in the conventional classroom and the ADHDer’s desire and need for more movement and sensory stimulation. Classroom furnishings, by their active potential, have the ability to change the dynamic embodied in existing classroom environments. New furnishings in the classroom may positively affect the traditional culture of conventionality (standardized classroom behaviours) in a positive way by directly involving students in the interplay between active learning and sensory stimuli. Ultimately, my design approach is to provide a furnishing that responds to the ADHDer’s learning experience in the classroom environment. Using my individual experience of having ADHD as an investigative blueprint, my study took on a design process that overlapped four explorative modes: I examined the context of traditional classrooms (searched for understanding), developed contextualisation (searched for ideas), tested the concepts (searched for solutions), and logically reasoned (searched for meaning) an optimal design. These explorative modes were not done entirely sequentially. There was an ebb and flow throughout my whole design process. The interrelatedness between the explorative modes, and iterative process of learning and knowledge generally, helped generate a reactive design process which was ultimately represented by my design solution.
Classroom furniture design, Furniture design, Attention-deficit-disordered children, Classroom environment