Tom’s hopes that design will help all

Tom Kirkman Kirriemuir
Tom Kirkman Kirriemuir

A KIRRIEMUIR student has designed an innovative concept looking at how autistic children can interact and connect with their parents through play.

Tom Kirkman, who will soon graduate from a Digital Interaction Design course at Dundee University, designed ‘Passive Play’ with parents in mind.

Parents with a child affected by autism can often feel isolated from them, leading to a breakdown in the physical and emotional connection they would normally experience from the relationship.

Passive Play is a vision that explores the complexities of the developmental disability. Specifically it aims to evoke the emotional connection that a parent may have lost with their child during the preliminary stages of the disorder.

Passive play is a conceptual platform that consists of an interactive toy cube for the child, and a iOS application for the parent. When the child makes contact with the sensory object, they are unconsciously engaging with their parent through a mobile device thus illuminating their interests and learning. This helps the parent to feel more connected to their child.

Tom, a father himself, feels that Autism in children is definitely something that parents worry about as their child grows up.

This project has given Tom the opportunity to mix his skills as an interaction designer and combine them with the passion to push himself and experience a side of design that he had not yet explored.

Tom’s project will be on display at the Dundee University Degree Show between May 19 and 27.