Making the right connections at the right time in education

Phrenology

Education can benefit from ICT in a host of different areas from organisational management to learning tools, but what is the most powerful opportunity of all?

Examples of Non-traditional Interfaces for Education in South Africa

As a specialised design consultancy for interactive learning environments and tools, Formula D interactive has gained valuable project experience in designing non-traditional interfaces for digital educational content and tools in the culturally diverse context of South Africa. The aim of this paper, the final version of which has been published by Springer is to share the company’s experience in the field using prominent examples of their recent work, related research and user testing in order to discuss the merit of large-scale interactive surfaces, gesture-based and tangible interfaces in culturally diverse contexts. The company’s work includes interactive displays for science centres and museums as well as digital learning tools for classroom environments.

South African design consultancy nominated for “Games for Change” award

Games for Change

Earlier this week, Games for Change, a non-profit that catalyzes social impact through digital games, announced the 2013 finalists for the Games for Change Awards in the following categories: Most Significant Impact; Most Innovative; Best Gameplay; and Game of the Year. The annual awards are designed to celebrate excellence in the year’s best “games for change.” The finalists were selected by a blue ribbon jury and the awards will be presented to winners during the 10th Anniversary celebration of the Games for Change Festival in NYC on Tuesday, June 18th 2013.

Interaction design for learning

We all know it; it is the mantra of our time: Our lives have changed a lot in the last years through information and communication technology. It has changed the way we work. It has changed the way we communicate. New technologies like mobile computing, new tools and interfaces not only have a major impact on our work and social experiences, we can rightly claim that they have improved our lives in various areas. Unfortunately, this is not the case in the field of education. Here, it seems as though things are moving slower than anywhere else. The following article proposes various engagement points for interaction designers to make technology count for education.

Recycling education with an interactive floor projection game

The Recycling Floor projection Game educates players about different recyclable materials and how they can be identified. Located some thirty-eight kilometers north west of Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage was historically known as the ‘garden town’ of the Eastern Cape. Over the years, as its population has expanded, waste has become a visible problem in the area. […]

25 Questions and Answers on Art, Technology and Design

Two weeks ago Catherine Henderson, who organises the Cape Town’s Creative mornings, asked Formula D interactive’s Michael Wolf 25 questions about design, art and tech via Twitter. Questions and answers were limited to 140 character each. Here are all Q & A’s in one thread. Q: Michael Wolf, what do you do? A: I am founder, […]

Interactive Installation Creates Awareness for the threatened Cape Leopard

Recognising that education is the key to protecting Cape Mountain Leopards, Leopard’s Leap commissioned Formula D interactive to design and build an educational leopard display for their visitor centre, which was recently designed by Makeka Design Lab.

The result is an interactive wall projection loaded with game-enhancing technology. The 3-meter projection loops realistically rendered animations of Cedearberg landscapes. Three different sets of day and night scenes are displayed.

When visitors step in front of the wall, their virtual avatars appear on the screen in front of them. Each visitor is randomly assigned an avatar and up to 3 people can interact with the multimedia application at the same time.

Innovating education in South Africa: Formula D interactive presents a virtual, yet tangible Chemistry Lab.

Formula D interactive Virtual Chemistry Lab

Formula D Interactive recently developed a Virtual Chemistry Lab, as a safe, low cost alternative to the standard chemistry laboratory in schools. The heart of the system is a so called object recognition table. The interactive platform consists of a 50″ High Definition rear projected screen prepped with lots of computing power. Sophisticated pattern recognition technology allows users to navigate content information by placing physical cards onto the table’s glass surface.

ibali – speaking public furniture design to inspire citizens

ibali is a public furniture design concept designed by Johan du Toit and Michael Wolf from Formula D interactive in their spare time. ibali offers an extra service to city dwellers: It inspires. A recent city branding initiative gave Cape Town the title: City of Inspiration. Cape Town and its citizens are rich with inspirational people and stories that are linked to specific places and streets in Cape Town. ibali – space of inspiration aims at creating islands of inspiration in the city allowing citizens to step out of the stream of everyday life to get a dose of hope and inspiration.

Toppling Godsigner – Jenna Mervis talks to Cape Town’s Mugendi M’Rithaa about Transformative Design

“…Participatory design is almost a reaction against taking the end-user for granted. We’re saying that there is an embedded or tacit knowledge which the consumer has that will enrich the design process. Designers too can learn something in this relationship. We learn more about the context and the consumer becomes more visually literate, more design conscious. It is actually in our interest as designers to co-create with the consumer, because then they start to appreciate our role and our work even better…”

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