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Jesse Resnick

New York, NY, United States

Member since September 08, 2008


  • Existing Products

    Communication

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    Here is a selection of products developed specifically to educate autistic children. See a larger version here.

  • Mission Statement

    Communication

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    I am aiming to address the lack of communication skills found in the majority of the autistic community. I would like to foster these skills in children at a young age so that they can better interact within society as adults.

  • Initial Concepts

    Communication

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    A few of the very initial concepts brainstormed in class last week. Full-size image here.

  • Map Revisited

    Communication

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    Revising my map, I attempted to quantify the four categories I identified in last week’s map – formal qualities, functional qualities, ethical qualities, and cost. I subdivided the circle behind each product into four quadrants, one to represent each category. Then, looking at the way I described the categories in the map last week, I assigned each product a rating for each category. The more that the quadrant is filled with colour, the ‘better’ it is. For example, I determined that a low cost (relative to the product) is best because it can then be accessible to more people. On the map, the Oxo measuring cup and the robot toy both score high in this category and those quadrants are therefore almost all yellow. I felt the LOMAK is priced relatively high, so it scored low in the category and has only a sliver of yellow filling the quadrant.

  • Observations

    Communication

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    After carefully observing the 13th Street entrance of our building, I definitely noticed a few things that I hadn’t noticed before. My main observation about the physical space was the conversation nooks created by the new windows. I had noticed them before, and sat in them to talk myself, but never really took note of the sense of private space that they can create. It was clear in certain groupings of people that they were not meant to be disturbed – they sat against the glass, the window frame casting an invisible border around them. In terms of social space/interactions, I was most interested in the construction workers across the street. They stood together talking for the first five minutes, but as time went on they stopped talking. It was really interesting to see that they could be together without interacting; almost what it feels like to be in a movie theatre with friends.

    I didn’t identify any real problems with the physical/social space. There is somewhat of a lack of seating, but people can always sit on the windows or the large chairs in the lobby. If I were to change the space around, I would focus a little more on seating potential. I like that the space is very open, and I wouldn’t want the seating to detract from that, but I think it could be introduced while retaining the integrity of the building’s design. Perhaps a large seating installation could be created in the main entrance. It could be integrated into the minimalist design of the building (may...

  • Design Criteria

    Communication

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    Function My goal is for the product to help educate autistic children. I want to try to understand how an autistic child’s brain is different from a typical child’s, and cater to that. The product will be designed to work off of natural strengths and learning abilities/methods. I also want people to understand the product intuitively, so there does not need to be a long explanation of how it functions.

    Form The form will be dictated by the function of the product. Formal choices will also be made to engage children. It is important that people see the product and want to engage with it. The form should draw the user in and make them want to investigate the product further.

    Materials I want my product to be made in an environmentally friendly way – not to be another injection moulded plastic product on the market. For me, material innovation does not only come through the material chosen, but also the way the material is used. I think cutting back on the amount of material needed to produce a product is equally important if not more important than the physical material used.

    Cost Ideally, my product will be affordable to a wide range of income levels - I want the product to be used. If the price is set too high, it is less likely that the product will reach a large audience.

    Technology At this point, I think that I want to keep my product relatively low-tech. I think there are more and more products for kids these days that take advantage of technology, but I thi...

  • Intersection 1.2

    Communication

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    Moving forward on last week's intersection, I explored the scale/size/shape of the compost receptacle. The rendering shown in the designer's concept did not give a very strong sense of scale, so I sketched the product in relation to a person. I also looked at the way the product was used - I thought a 'mailbox' like slot at the top would be effective, and would allow the bin to be put inside of a cabinet. I also felt like the process did not need to be seen - although it is aesthetically pleasing in the rendering, I don't think looking at half rotting banana peels would be too attractive to look at for weeks at a time. Finally, I thought that the form could go along the designer's line of futuristic, or could be pulled back into a more simple, minimalist form.

  • Product Mapping

    Communication

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    Robert the Robot Shape Sorter

    Formal Criteria: The shape sorter is colourful, playful, and friendly – it would definitely appeal to young children. It is made of a thin plastic with several differently shaped holes. The toy is relatively small, probably standing at about twelve inches tall. Functional Criteria: Robert the Robot Sorter is intended for autistic children or younger, typically developing children. It is intended to teach fine motor skills, shape/colour recognition, and hand-eye coordination. Ethical Criteria: The piece is socially conscious in that it educates young children. From an environmental standpoint, the thin-walled design of the toy reduces the amount of plastic used. Cost Criteria: At only $9.99, this toy is relatively affordable to a wide range of income levels.

    Memory Phone

    Formal Criteria: The phone has a fairly standard look – it is definitely not winning any form-related design awards. There are large pictures of each phone contact at the top of the phone, and large, easy-to-read buttons for dialing. Functional Criteria: Functionally, the phone is a lot more successful. It is intended to help those experiencing both the beginning and middle stages of Alzheimer’s cope with their memory loss by relying on visual memory rather than verbal. Ethical Criteria: This device is meant to have a positive social impact, aiding those suffering with Alzheimer’s. It most likely uses the same materials/resources needed to make a regular phone, but wi...

  • Bibliography

    Communication

    • Baggs, A M. "Being a Spatial Thinker: One Kind of Autistic Thought." Autistics.org. 1999. 26 Sept. 2008 <http://www.autistics.org/library/spatial.html>.

    Relevancy: This article is fascinating – it is written by an autistic person, and he basically attempts to explain how he thinks. The article gives first-hand insight into the autistic mind, specifically focusing around spatial and three-dimensional thinking processes.

    • Caron, M J, L. Mottron, C. Rainville, and S. Chouinard. "Do High Functioning Persons with Autism Present Superior Spatial Abilities?" Neuropsychologia 42 (2004): 467-81.

    Relevancy: The author discusses the results of a scientific experiment comparing the spatial abilities of high-functioning autistic individuals with typically developed individuals. The two parties performed at a relatively equal level; however the autistic individuals excelled in the mapping exercises. The author proposes that autistic individuals have a superior ability to recognize patterns and landmarks. This article provides quantifiable evidence of an autistic person’s spatial abilities. It is a great resource to provide evidence backing up my hypotheses.

    • Edgin, Jamie O., and Bruce F. Pennington. "Spatial Cognition in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Superior, Impaired, or Just Intact?" Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 35 (2005): 729-45.

    Relevancy: A study comparing autistic children to typically developing children, focusing ...

  • I found a series of non-profits that deal specifically with the education of autistic children, specifically “New York Center for Autism Charter School (NYCA),” “Foundation for Educating Children with Autism (FECA),” and “The Hummingbird Institutes.”

    NYCA has a relatively simple, straightforward mission statement – “To address the serious gaps in the areas of education, training, clinical services, support and research related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD).” Two mothers concerned with the state of public education for autistic children set up the school in 2005. I think this would be a great non-profit (assuming a public charter school is a non-profit?) to work with developing an educational toy for autistic children. They have a one-on-one teacher to student ratio, and seem very concerned with the development and growth of the children in the program. The school also has a strong commitment to science-based research initiatives, involving both professional and student clinicians in their development process. The school seems relatively open to collaboration, therefore they might be willing to work closely with me on the project.

    FECA has a somewhat similar mission to the charter school – they are “dedicated to providing the appropriate educational opportunities for children with autism based on applied behavior analysis (ABA), through the development of schools, inclusion and vocational programs, consumer advocacy and community outreach.” They use t...

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design