Key to a better lifestyle

Student develops games to enhance recognition and memory of visually impaired children.

Aima Khosa February 16, 2015

LAHORE: “Most students at the National College of Arts (NCA) dedicate most of their time honing their creativity. Students of product design, however, get rigorous training to design objects that can be used commercially,” said Shehzad Manzur, head of NCA Department of Product Design, on Monday.

He was speaking to The Express Tribune at the degree show of students graduating in 2015.

“Students are assigned 3D objects to design focusing on processes, user analysis, materials, techniques and constraints imposed by industry and the consumer market.”

“Skills like model making and computer design software are part of the curriculum,” he said.

SLATE (Games for visually impaired children)

Nihan Karim’s thesis display is a collection of games developed for visually impaired children.

“Growing up as a visually impaired child in a sight-oriented society, one faces a lot of social, physical and educational challenges,” she said. “Many sighted children learn alphabets using blocks. These blocks are not too helpful for visually impaired children, who mostly rely on their sense of touch.”

Her games focus on “touching, reaching and manipulating”. “The purpose of such games is to enhance recognition and memory of visually impaired children. The games also offer an introduction to Braille.”

The games include Match the Patch, Maze Runner and Word Whirl.

Karim says she developed the idea when an uncle she was close to began losing his sight.

“I began working with visually impaired children to understand their needs. I then decided to create games that will enhance their tactile experience.”

Multi-purpose furniture

Samia Shamshad is a happy girl.

“The LUMS vice chancellor visited the show and ordered 500 of the beds I have designed for the university,” she said. She has designed a convertible bed that serves as a dining table, a study table, an iron stand, a closet and a rack. It also has a chair.

“The bed is meant for hoetels.”

Shamshad said she had spent a few nights with her friends at a hostel. She said she had then realised that there was a market for such a product.

Ghari Camping Tent

Fozia Sharaf, a student from Chitral, has designed a luxurious- but affordable- camping facility for tourists. She said she interviewed several tourists in Chitral about problems they faced.

“They told me one couldn’t take families to such places. Families need room and warmth,” she said.

Sharaf said she had provided a solar panel so that travellers could charge their phones or keep a light on.

“My product will allow tourists to explore northern Pakistan without losing basic comfort and privacy.”

Other products on display included contemporary furniture inspired by Islamic art, a portable sanctuary, a detachable canopy for motorbikes, a smart urban vehicle and sustainable furniture.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2015.


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