This paper summarises the process and findings of the 3-year project OutsideTheBox. The project proposed a paradigm shift in the design of assistive technology for children with disabilities from designing for limitations to designing for positive experiences, wellbeing and quality of life. The team (Christopher Frauenberger, Julia Makhaeva and Katta Spiel) realised a series of case studies to ground the theoretical and methodological outcomes in concrete implementations of design processes and prototypes.
The design was guided by autistic children as experts in their own life-worlds. Smart objects were developed individually with nine children employing a wide range of different methods (e.g., co-operative inquiry, future workshops, fictional inquiry, magic workshops, drama and digital fabrication. These case studies offered insights for rethinking the possible roles of technology in the lives of autistic children and the approach by which those can be designed.
Open-access full-text available:
Frauenberger, C., Spiel, K., & Makhaeva, J. (2018). Thinking OutsideTheBox-Designing Smart Things with Autistic Children. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, 1-13.