Rowdeford School

So at the minute my MA research is focused on what stimulates us as human beings and further to that what helps us to relax and become less stimulated. To date I have found that we are generally over stimulated by the daily bombardment of visual and auditory communication. Having an opportunity to let our minds be still and take a moment to be at one with ourselves it's becoming more and more of a rarity.
To start my research into techniques and products that help humans to relax and unwind I visited Rowdeford special School, who cater for students with communication and interaction challenges.

By visiting Rowdeford School I had hoped to gain an understanding of current products available on the market that can help children who finds daily life stressful.
Within Roweford School there is a sensory room, reserved for students who need some time out. The room is full of predominantly visual and auditory stimulus. The sensory room is similar a children’s soft play area, there was a projector with aslowing turning disk that created a constant moving image on the wall of the room. there was also a large glass tube that had bubbles coming up, beside this tube were some interactive coloured buttons that allowed the children to change the colour of the bubbles. there was also a soft, felt Wall that had tiny fibre-optic within the surface much like a starry sky. they also had a cupboard full of objects that were very tactile and recative to touch.

Each of the three children who were in the room whilst I observed it had a favourite item, when discussing this later with one of the TA's Nicki, we discussed how each of the children had quite specific and unique Learning and communication challenges which had resulted in them having unique favourites.

The fabric fibre-optic wall was for some children very relaxing and tactile yet for others the lack of order became quite a stressful experience. She expanded by explaining how some children need to find patterns and consistency within their environment. for these none 'neuro typical' children each experience must be explored on a case by case basis.
we discussed how the product I hope to create would focus on a Neuro-typical customer, and Nicki suggested that repetitive regular rhythms would be relaxing for the neurotypical mind. Regular speeds were also calming.

We also discussed the feeling of being grounded; Nicki explained that some students required a weighted blanked to help them to feel grounded and safe.

From this research I have decided to further investigate neuro-typical humans, with the hope that I can create the products accessible to a generalised audience.  Further investigation is required into gender or age-specific clients.  Are there different benefits calming benefits at different ages to different sexes different times in your life? Research now into the most stressful times in human’s life is required.