Mars Exploration Rover.

NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission is an ongoing robotic space mission involving two Mars rovers, Spirit[1] and Opportunity,[2] exploring the planet Mars. It began in 2003 with the sending of the two rovers: MER-A Spirit and MER-B Opportunity—to explore the Martian surface and geology. Both rovers outlived their planned missions of 90 Martian solar days by far. MER-A Spirit was active until 2010. MER-B Opportunity is still active.


The mission’s scientific objective was to search for and characterize a wide range of rocks and soils that hold clues to past water activity on Mars. The mission is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, which includes three previous successful landers: the two Viking program landers in 1976 and Mars Pathfinder probe in 1997.[3]

The total cost of building, launching, landing and operating the rovers on the surface for the initial 90-sol primary mission was US$820 million.[4] Since the rovers have continued to function beyond their initial 90 sol primary mission, they have each received five mission extensions. The fifth mission extension was granted in October 2007, and ran to the end of 2009.[4][5] The total cost of the first four mission extensions was $104 million, and the fifth mission extension is expected to cost at least $20 million.[4]

In July 2007, during the fourth mission extension, Martian dust storms blocked sunlight to the rovers and threatened the ability of the craft to gather energy through their solar panels, causing engineers to fear that one or both of them might be permanently disabled. However, the dust storms lifted, allowing them to resume operations.[6]

On May 1, 2009, during its fifth mission extension, Spirit became stuck in soft soil on Mars.[7] After nearly nine months of attempts to get the rover back on track, including using test rovers on Earth, NASA announced on January 26, 2010 that Spirit was being retasked as a stationary science platform. This mode would enable Spirit to assist scientists in ways that a mobile platform could not, such as detecting “wobbles” in the planet’s rotation that would indicate a liquid core.[8] Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) lost contact with Spirit after last hearing from the rover on March 22, 2010 and continued attempts to regain communications lasted until May 25, 2011, bringing the elapsed mission time to 6 years 2 months 19 days, or over 25 times the original planned mission duration.[9]

In recognition of the vast amount of scientific information amassed by both rovers, two asteroids have been named in their honor: 37452 Spirit and 39382 Opportunity. The mission is managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which designed, built, and is operating the rovers.

On January 24, 2014, NASA reported that current studies by the remaining rover Opportunity as well as by the newer Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity will now be searching for evidence of ancient life, including a biosphere based on autotrophic, chemotrophic and/or chemolithoautotrophic microorganisms, as well as ancient water, including fluvio-lacustrine environments (plains related to ancient rivers or lakes) that may have been habitable.[10][11][12][13] The search for evidence of habitability, taphonomy (related to fossils), and organic carbon on the planet Mars is now a primary NASA objective.[10]

The scientific objectives of the Mars Exploration Rover mission are to:[14]

  • Search for and characterize a variety of rocks and soils that hold clues to past water activity. In particular, samples sought include those that have minerals deposited by water-related processes such as precipitation, evaporation, sedimentary cementation, or hydrothermal activity.
  • Determine the distribution and composition of minerals, rocks, and soils surrounding the landing sites.
  • Determine what geologic processes have shaped the local terrain and influenced the chemistry. Such processes could include water or wind erosion, sedimentation, hydrothermal mechanisms, volcanism, and cratering.
  • Perform calibration and validation of surface observations made by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter instruments. This will help determine the accuracy and effectiveness of various instruments that survey Martian geology from orbit.
  • Search for iron-containing minerals, and to identify and quantify relative amounts of specific mineral types that contain water or were formed in water, such as iron-bearing carbonates.
  • Characterize the mineralogy and textures of rocks and soils to determine the processes that created them.
  • Search for geological clues to the environmental conditions that existed when liquid water was present.
  • Assess whether those environments were conducive to life.Source:

Constellations of the Night Sky.

Constellations of the Night Sky – Star Patterns in Images.

Investigation into the constellations of the night sky, and learning what animals the star patterns created was beneficial to my subject matter in BAMS, because I learned how to correctly address each constellation, either by the animal it forms or it’s constellation name. For example: Ursa Major is known as the ‘Great Bear’ because the constellation forms the pattern of a bear. This was beneficial because I could start to reference constellation patterns and apply them to my concept designs. This was extremely beneficial during the design stage of BAMS, as this investigation informed my designs and drawings before moving on to make final design decisions.

BAMS: Investigation.

Before I start my investigation into topics that pique my interest, I have been investigating the BAMS website for inspiration. Below are previous medals that stood out to me and feel inspired by:

Not a Day without a Line By: Peters, Camilla and Wood, Rob, 2005 Medium: bronze, alabaster and white ink Size: 80 x 122mm Cast by: constructed by the artists Issue: The Medal, no. 48 (Spring 2006) Edition: 20
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To Forgive the Unforgivable By: Stephen Morris, 2003 Medium: cast bronze Size: 89 x 69mm Cast by: Silas Tonks Issue: The Medal, no. 43 (2003) Edition: 32
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To Forgive the Unforgivable By: Stephen Morris, 2003 Medium: cast bronze Size: 89 x 69mm Cast by: Silas Tonks Issue: The Medal, no. 43 (2003) Edition: 32
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Past and Present £124.00 By: Rob Wood, 2001 Medium: bronze, steel and magnets Size: 78mm Cast by: the artist Edition: 40
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Past and Present £124.00 By: Rob Wood, 2001 Medium: bronze, steel and magnets Size: 78mm Cast by: the artist Edition: 40
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Alas By: Deborah Sadler, 1994 Medium: cast bronze Size: 112 x 84mm Cast by: Bronze Age Issue: The Medal, no. 25 (1994) Edition: 10

I have invested time into my summer coursework for the live brief of BAMS and I have been mapping out general ideas for themes that I would like to incorporate into my BAMS medal.


These topics are my starting line. I am going to consider each topic of interest, create a research file for each of the topics and progress from there. At the moment, I am already working on a research file for Galaxy and Sea with Voyagers. I am investigating the relationship between galaxy and sea, and the use of nocturnal instruments to navigate waters by starlight.

BAMS: An Introduction.

Welcome to BAMS


British Art Medal Society

The British Art Medal Society has commissioned medals from many distinguished contemporary sculptors, including Lynn Chadwick, Nigel Hall, John Maine, Paul Neagu and Michael Sandle; gun and glass engravers such as Malcolm Appleby and Ronald Pennell; medallists and coin designers such as Ron Dutton, Robert Elderton and Michael Rizzello; jewellers such as Kevin Coates, Jacqueline Stieger and Fred Rich; the cartoonist Ronald Searle and the poet, gardener and moralist Ian Hamilton Finlay.

The medals are sold, to members only, at very little more than the cost of production and in this way the British Art Medal Society has made it possible to buy original sculpture by a wide range of contemporary artists extremely cheaply. The medals are also sold to non-members, at higher prices.

Each issue is limited to a maximum of 100, usually depending on the number sold, and is open for 18 months, after which the edition is declared. Past issues have varied from about 10 to 100.

The British Art Medal Society is non profit making, run by its members through an elected committee and linked to a charity, the British Art Medal Trust.

Besides commissioning contemporary medals it issues a journal The Medal, published twice yearly and containing illustrated articles on historical and contemporary medals, organises regular meetings and conferences, and gives advice to individuals or companies who wish to commission medals.

Giving and Receiving, the BAMS President’s Medal designed by Danuta Solowiej, has been awarded since 2009, and the Marsh Award for the Encouragement of Medallic Art since 2011. A list of recipients to date can be found here.


As a tradition for Artist, Designer; Maker students, I am being encouraged by my tutors to participate in BAMS next academic year and have been set summer coursework. I am very eager about BAMS as it is one of the elements I am most excited to dip my toes into next year in second year.

I am looking forward to the element of working in bronze, silver and pewter. I have worked in Pewter before and thoroughly enjoyed the process, but I am itching to cast in bronze and silver, which will be a new experience for me. I am excited about beginning my investigation into my concept for my piece and my personal goal over the summer is to begin sketching, designing and making.

Adolf Hitler.

Dictator Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria, on April 20, 1889, and was the fourth of six children born to Alois Hitler and Klara Polzl. As a child, Hitler clashed frequently with his emotionally harsh father, who also didn’t approve of his son’s later interest in fine art as a career. Following the death of his younger brother, Edmund, in 1900, Hitler became detached and introverted. He also showed an early interest in German nationalism, rejecting the authority of Austria-Hungary. This nationalism would become the motivating force of Hitler’s life.

Alois died suddenly in 1903. Two years later, Adolf’s mother allowed her son to drop out of school. After her death in December 1907, he moved to Vienna and worked as a casual laborer and watercolor painter. Hitler applied to the Academy of Fine Arts twice and was rejected both times. Lacking money outside of an orphan’s pension and funds from selling postcards, he stayed in homeless shelters. Hitler later pointed to these years as the time when he first cultivated his anti-Semitism, though there is some debate about this account.

In 1913, Hitler relocated to Munich. At the outbreak of World War I, he applied to serve in the German army. He was accepted in August 1914, though he was still an Austrian citizen. Although Hitler spent much of his time away from the front lines (with some reports that his recollections of his time on the field were generally exaggerated), he was present at a number of significant battles and was wounded at the Somme. He was decorated for bravery, receiving the Iron Cross First Class and the Black Wound Badge.

Hitler became embittered over the collapse of the war effort. The experience reinforced his passionate German patriotism, and he was shocked by Germany’s surrender in 1918. Like other German nationalists, he purportedly believed that the German army had been betrayed by civilian leaders and Marxists. He found the Treaty of Versailles degrading, particularly the demilitarization of the Rhineland and the stipulation that Germany accept responsibility for starting the war.

Party Leadership and Imprisonment

After World War I, Hitler returned to Munich and continued to work for the military as an intelligence officer. While monitoring the activities of the German Workers’ Party (DAP), Hitler adopted many of the anti-Semitic, nationalist and anti-Marxist ideas of party founder Anton Drexler. Hitler joined the DAP in September 1919.

To increase its appeal, the DAP changed its name to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP), often abbreviated to Nazi. Hitler personally designed the party banner, appropriating the swastika symbol and placing it in a white circle on a red background. He soon gained notoriety for his vitriolic speeches against the Treaty of Versailles, rival politicians, Marxists and Jews. In 1921, Hitler replaced Drexler as NSDAP chairman.

Hitler’s fervid beer-hall speeches began attracting regular audiences. Early followers included army captain Ernst Rohm, the head of the Nazi paramilitary organization the Sturmabteilung (SA), which protected meetings and frequently attacked political opponents.

On November 8, 1923, Hitler and the SA stormed a public meeting featuring Bavarian prime minister Gustav Kahr at a large beer hall in Munich. Hitler announced that the national revolution had begun and declared the formation of a new government. After a short struggle that led to several deaths, the coup known as the “Beer Hall Putsch” failed.

Hitler was arrested and tried for high treason. He served nine months in prison, during which time he dictated most of the first volume of Mein Kampf (“My Struggle”) to his deputy, Rudolf Hess. A work of propaganda and falsehoods, the book laid out Hitler’s plans for transforming German society into one based on race.

Rise to Power

With millions unemployed, the Great Depression in Germany provided a political opportunity for Hitler. Germans were ambivalent to the parliamentary republic and increasingly open to extremist options. In 1932, Hitler ran against 84-year-old Paul von Hindenburg for the presidency. Hitler came in second in both rounds of the election, garnering more than 36 percent of the vote in the final count. The results established Hitler as a strong force in German politics. Hindenburg reluctantly agreed to appoint Hitler as chancellor in order to promote political balance.

Hitler used his position as chancellor to form a de facto legal dictatorship. The Reichstag Fire Decree, announced after a suspicious fire at parliament, suspended basic rights and allowed detention without trial. Hitler also engineered the passage of the Enabling Act, which gave his cabinet full legislative powers for a period of four years and allowed for deviations from the constitution.

Having achieved full control over the legislative and executive branches of government, Hitler and his political allies embarked on a systematic suppression of the remaining political opposition. By the end of June, the other parties had been intimidated into disbanding. On July 14, 1933, Hitler’s Nazi Party was declared the only legal political party in Germany. In October of that year, Hitler ordered Germany’s withdrawal from the League of Nations.

Military opposition was also punished. The demands of the SA for more political and military power led to the Night of the Long Knives, which took place from June 30 to July 2, 1934. Rohm, a perceived rival, and other SA leaders, along with a number of Hitler’s political enemies, were rounded up and shot.

The day before Hindenburg’s death in August 1934, the cabinet had enacted a law abolishing the office of president, combining its powers with those of the chancellor. Hitler thus became head of state as well as head of government and was formally named leader and chancellor. As head of state, Hitler became supreme commander of the armed forces.

The Rise of Anti-Semitism

From 1933 until the start of the war in 1939, Hitler and his Nazi regime instituted hundreds of laws and regulations to restrict and exclude Jews in society. The Anti-Semitic laws were issued throughout all levels of government, making good on the Nazis’ pledge to persecute Jews if the party came to power. On April 1, 1933, Hitler implemented a national boycott of Jewish businesses, followed by the introduction of the ”Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service” of April 7, 1933, which was one of the first laws to persecute Jews by excluding them from state service. This was a Nazi implementation of the Aryan Paragraph, a clause calling for the exclusion of Jews and non-Aryans from organizations, employment and eventually all aspects of public life.

In April 1933, additional legislation furthered the persecution of Jews including laws restricting the number of Jewish students at schools and universities, limiting Jews working in medical and legal professions, and revoking the licenses of Jewish tax consultants. In April 1933, the Main Office for Press and Propaganda of the German Student Union called for “Action Against the Un-German Spirit,” prompting students to burn more than 25,000 “Un-German” books, ushering in an era of censorship and Nazi propaganda. In 1934, Jewish actors were forbidden from performing in film or in the theater.

On September 15, 1935, the Reichstag introduced the Nuremberg Laws which defined a “Jew” as anyone with three or four grandparents who were Jewish, regardless of whether the person considered themselves Jewish or observed the religion. The Nuremberg Laws also set forth the “Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour,” which banned marriage between non-Jewish and Jewish Germans; and the Reich Citizenship Law, which deprived “non-Aryans” of the benefits of German citizenship.

Hitler’s eugenic policies also targeted children with physical and developmental disabilities, and later authorized a euthanasia program for disabled adults. His regime also persecuted homosexuals, arresting an estimated 100,000 men from 1933 to 1945, some of whom were imprisoned or sent to concentration camps. At the camps, gay prisoners were forced to wear pink triangles to identify their homosexuality, which Nazis considered a crime and a disease.

Hitler also promoted anti-smoking campaigns across the country. These campaigns stemmed from Hitler’s self-imposed dietary restrictions, which included abstinence from alcohol and meat. Fueled by fanaticism over what he believed was a superior Aryan race, he encouraged Germans to keep their bodies pure of any intoxicating or unclean substance.

In 1936, Hitler and his regime muted their Anti-Semitic rhetoric and actions when Germany hosted the Winter and Summer Olympic Games, in an effort to avoid criticism on the world stage and a negative impact on tourism. However, after the Olympics, the Nazi persecution of Jews intensified with the continued “Aryanization” of Jewish businesses, which involved the firing of Jewish workers and takeover by non-Jewish owners.

World War II & The Holocaust

In 1938, Hitler, along with several other European leaders, signed the Munich Agreement. The treaty ceded the Sudetenland districts to Germany, reversing part of the Versailles Treaty. As a result of the summit, Hitler was named Time magazine’s Man of the Year for 1938. This diplomatic win only whetted his appetite for a renewed German dominance.

The Nazis continued to segregate Jews from German society, banning them from public school, universities, theaters, sports events and “Aryan” zones. Jewish doctors were also barred from treating “Aryan” patients. Jews were required to carry identity cards and, in the fall of 1938, Jewish people had to have their passports stamped with a “J.”

On November 9 and 10, 1938, a wave of violent anti-Jewish pogroms swept Germany, Austria and parts of the Sudetenland. Nazis destroyed synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses, and close to 100 Jews were murdered. Called Kristallnacht, the “Night of Crystal” or the “Night of Broken Glass,” referring to the broken glass left in the wake of the destruction, the pogroms escalated the Nazi persecution of Jews to another level of brutality and violence. Almost 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps, signaling more horrors to come.

On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. In response, Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. Between 1939 and 1945, Nazis and their collaborators were responsible for the deaths of at least 1 million noncombatants, including about six million Jews, representing two-thirds of the Jewish population in Europe. As part of Hitler’s “Final Solution,” the genocide enacted by the regime would come to be known as the Holocaust.

Deaths and mass executions took place in concentration and extermination camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and Treblinka, among many others. Other persecuted groups included Poles, communists, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and trade unionists. Prisoners were used as forced laborers for SS construction projects, and in some instances they were forced to build and expand concentration camps. They were subject to starvation, torture and horrific brutalities, including having to endure gruesome and painful medical experiments. Hitler probably never visited the concentration camps and did not speak publicly about the mass killings, but Germans documented the atrocities committed at the camps on paper and in films.

Hitler escalated his military activities in 1940, invading Norway, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium. By July, Hitler ordered bombing raids on the United Kingdom, with the goal of invasion. Germany’s formal alliance with Japan and Italy, known collectively as the Axis powers, was agreed upon toward the end of September to deter the United States from supporting and protecting the British.

On June 22, 1941, Hitler violated the 1939 non-aggression pact with Joseph Stalin, sending a massive army of German troops into the Soviet Union. The invading force seized a huge area of Russia before Hitler temporarily halted the invasion and diverted forces to encircle Leningrad and Kiev. The pause allowed the Red Army to regroup and conduct a counteroffensive attack, and the German advance was stopped outside Moscow in December 1941.

On December 7, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Honoring the alliance with Japan, Hitler was now at war against the Allied powers, a coalition that included Britain, the world’s largest empire, led by Prime Minister Winston Churchill; the United States, the world’s greatest financial power, led by President Franklin D. Roosevelt; and the Soviet Union, which had the world’s largest army, commanded by Stalin.

Though initially hoping that he could play the Allies off of one another, Hitler’s military judgment became increasingly erratic, and the Axis powers could not sustain his aggressive and expansive war. In late 1942, German forces failed to seize the Suez Canal, leading to the loss of German control over North Africa. The German army also suffered defeats at the Battle of Stalingrad (1942-43), seen as a turning point in the war, and the Battle of Kursk (1943). On June 6, 1944, on what would come to be known as D-Day, the Western Allied armies landed in northern France. As a result of these significant setbacks, many German officers concluded that defeat was inevitable and that Hitler’s continued rule would result in the destruction of the country. Organized efforts to assassinate the dictator gained traction, and opponents came close in 1944 with the notorious July Plot, though it ultimately proved unsuccessful.

Death and Legacy

By early 1945, Hitler realized that Germany was going to lose the war. The Soviets had driven the German army back into Western Europe and the Allies were advancing into Germany from the west. At midnight, going into April 29, 1945, Hitler married his girlfriend, Eva Braun, in a small civil ceremony in his Berlin bunker. Around this time, Hitler was informed of the execution of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Afraid of falling into the hands of enemy troops, Hitler and Braun committed suicide the day after their wedding, on April 30, 1945. Their bodies were carried to a bombed-out area outside of the Reich Chancellery, where they were burned.

Berlin fell on May 2, 1945. Five days later, on May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered unconditionally to the Allies.

Hitler’s political programs had brought about a world war, leaving behind a devastated and impoverished Eastern and Central Europe, including Germany. His policies inflicted human suffering on an unprecedented scale and resulted in the death of tens of millions of people, including more than 20 million in the Soviet Union and six million Jews in Europe. Hitler’s defeat marked the end of Germany’s dominance in European history and the defeat of fascism. A new ideological global conflict, the Cold War, emerged in the aftermath of the devastating violence of World War II.


Source Here:

From Research to Realisation.

Sensory Toy: How It Relates Back To Autism.

The prototype I have made is designed in mind to aid the needs of someone with ASC (Autism Spectrum Condition). Specifically, the prototype is designed to aid the recovery of someone in sensory overload. By programming the lights to be gentle and soothing, and with the prototype’s tactile nature, it will provide a calming effect. To tailor this prototype to someone experiencing sensory overload, I investigated a variety of sources through articles, journals and PowerPoint Presentations centered around Autism and the different signs or symptoms one may experience. Through this series of investigation, I have learned that there may be different triggers or signs or symptoms that one person with autism may demonstrate, whilst another may experience things differently. No one person is affected the same. This blog post will discuss the importance of that finding and how I am applying a specific field to the developed prototype.


^ By investigating a breakdown on the seven senses and how these are experienced differently to those on the ASC spectrum, I was able to narrow down the field and specifically design and develop the prototype to one specialisation.

Sight and Touch: the specific area of autism I selected. I chose sight and touch, because it was extensive in terms of what I could design and develop. I could add textures, apply lights, combine the two or revert back to touch and add indents and different textures.

To investigate designing a prototype, I took inspiration from a small object on the market called a Fidget Cube.

Having held a fidget cube and being able to feel the texture of each element of this object, it enabled a better understanding of the sensations of touch; what felt nice or what felt abrasive. I took inspiration from a few elements of the fidget cube and the sensations it provided when touching it and applied that to my own CAD design in Rhino.

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^ As my investigation continued, I discovered that the perceptions of someone on the ASC spectrum aren’t unified. For example, White and Oliver’s different experiences of sound demonstrate how the same situation can be perceived differently by someone on the spectrum. For this reason, I decided to not include sound in my prototype, as it would be too subjective.

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^ Discovering the intensity that someone feels on the spectrum, I took this into consideration when I started designing my prototype in Rhino. The prototype would be comfortable to hold and would be designed so that it would be a passive object. The idea would be that the prototype would be something that someone on the spectrum could interact with, but not interact with them. I wanted to minimize the possibility of someone perceiving the prototype as intrusive.

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^ Investigating sensory sensitivities was a pivotal moment in the designing process of my prototype, because the research gave me a better understanding of what to avoid or include in my design. For example, someone with hypersensitive senses dislikes dark and bright lights, whilst someone with hyposensitive senses is fascinated with reflections or brightly coloured objects. This meant I needed to consider the following things for my design: lights, smell (product material), texture, size.

Light: I needed to carefully consider how I wanted my prototype to light up. I needed to consider what could be a trigger for someone on the hyper/hyposensitive spectrum and avoid bright or dark lights. This has led to the decision that I will have gentle, soothing lights that sit in the middle of bright-dark spectrum. The colours will be pastel and not too fluorescent. The lights will be programmed to activate slowly in a calming, pulsive rhythm as to avoid triggering someone. Also, whoever is holding the product, will have full control over that process.

Smell: This was harder to consider in terms of developing with material process. I needed to consider what material I casted the product in, as long-lasting smells of materials could provide negative for someone experiencing hypersensitivity. The current prototype is made of transparent resin, which lacks any odor once the cast is dry.

Texture: By investigating market research and what currently already exists in today’s market, inspired the nodules and interactive nature of my prototype. I have a better understanding of the variables of texture now and which ones are positive and negative.

Size: This was another issue in the development stage, because I originally had the intention to design a prototype that could be portable and pocket-size. However, due to the size restrictions, it proved difficult to also apply lights if I kept it to the original concept scale. The current prototype is larger in scale than I had originally liked, but this is a good starting point. As I gain further confidence and skills in programming and designing concepts for products, I will make the product smaller in scale.

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^ When someone is experiencing sensory overload, they may utilise only one sense at a time – a Mono process. The idea behind my prototype is designed with that in mind. The prototype can provide relief by being a reliable anchor. For example, the prototype only has one function: when the button is pressed, a series of lights begin. There is no surprise elements or unexpected reactions. The user is going to know what happens and has full control over what is going to happen. For example, the prototype is like the process of breathing into a brown paper bag to prevent a panic attack getting worse.

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^ As above, my prototype will hopefully provide structure and stability; something that the user can rely on. The prototype is designed to be passive, to provide aid on a personal level.

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^ In conclusion, it is my hope that my product will be useful for those on the ASC Spectrum in a number of ways.

  • Lights to visually aid the calming process.
  • Tactile elements for those who need physical stimulation.
  • Discreet design for everyday use.