You may have noticed that I like to draw. I have autism, and sketching helps me focus — especially when I need to sit for long periods of time. In this way, sketching helps me learn.
How might we use computation to dive deeper into our creations and inventions? Could it strengthen our brains?
Young children are wildly creative. Building tools for kids can support their inventions and healthy development too.
My work on MindScribe won the OpenIDEO Early Childhood Innovation Prize for our ability to "maximize potential in the first few years of life."
We're building interactive robots to help preschoolers tell stories about their creative play.
Leah Buechley, inventor of the LilyPad Arduino for wearables, gave a talk at the ATLAS Institute on "Making Material Interactions". I was intrigued by her vision for computational design—how can we support people making things for themselves and their communities?
To develop MindScribe, I collaborate with young children. Here, a 7 year-old and I use Wizard-of-Oz techniques with a stuffed animal to prototype a conversational agent. After she talked with the stuffy to tell her story, she said she wanted to turn it into a book—so we did!
Laura Devendorf gave a talk at the Information Science Seminar on "Designing Tools for Necessary Frustration." How does technology shape our relationships? How can we explore enchantment and ethics in our designs?
Two sisters visit our MindScribe headquarters and do some sketching of their own. I wonder what they're making?
In her doctoral dissertation, my classmate Abigale Stangl focused on "Tactile Media Consumption and Production by and for People who are Blind and Visually Impaired." How might we create more dimensionality in our media, and transcribe across our senses?
My mentor Dr. Clayton Lewis wonders "Why Can't Programming Be Like Sketching?" at an ATLAS Institute talk. He seeks to "heal the split" between crafts and fine art by exploring the centrality of gesture in embodied cognition.
In 2018, I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to visit Jim Henson's collection of puppetry artifacts at the Center for Puppetry Arts. I learned about their creative process and how puppetry has inventive ways to prototype complex dynamics.