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Marie Højlund

Habituating alarming atmospheres: Listening furniture helps children to meet hospitalized relatives

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This paper proposes embodied rhythmic sound habituation as a possible resource when designing contextualized technologies in critical atmospheres. The main contribution is collating the concept of rhythm as presented by Henri Lefebvre with the concept of sound habituation to help operationalize essential dynamic parameters when designing atmospheres. This research is based on the development of the novel research artefact Kidkit, designed for children, who are going to meet a hospitalized relative with fatal injuries in a Neuro–Intensive Care Unit. Sounds from hospital equipment have important functionality for the staff, but are stressful for visitors and patients, as they are designed to demand attention even though they have no direct functional meaning to them. By introducing sounds from the ward, integrated in the furniture as simple sound sample triggers, KidKit invites children to become accustomed to the alarming sounds through rhythmic interaction in the waiting room, and bringing the furniture with them afterwards as a secure anchor, when entering the ward. This rhythmic habituation can enable the child to focus her attention on the meeting with the hospitalized relative.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year17 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2013
Event1th ESSA Conference: Functional Sounds - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 4 Oct 20136 Oct 2013


Conference1th ESSA Conference

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