A ringing telephone, your computer screen – they are designed to claim your full attention. Saskia Bakker designed the operable lights called FireFlies in the context of her research into less intrusive, or “ambient”, technology. The lights have been tested in primary schools. The teacher can control them per child or for the whole group.
For example, while helping one child, the teacher can give a light signal to another child who has raised his or her finger, indicating that he will come over soon. Or the teacher can warn or praise a child while the class is quietly at work.
In her work Bakker uses psychological theories of attention. “I think designers should really consider how much attention their designs claim from the users.”
Eindhoven University of Technology
PC Basisschool De Sonnewijzer
Dr. ir. Saskia Bakker, Eindhoven University of Technology, design-researcher;
Dr. Elise van den Hoven, University of Technology Sydney and Eindhoven University of Technology, daily supervisor;
Prof. dr. ir. Berry Eggen, Eindhoven University of Technology, promotor
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