Hospitalized children often feel isolated in their rooms. For his final project at the Delft University of Technology, designer Job Jansweijer created KonneKt, a game that takes down the physical barriers surrounding the children. KonneKt is made up of different shapes that can be attached to glass walls with suction cups. It transforms the separating glass into a canvas for engaging play. This helps the sick children connect and interact with their peers. Kids can play familiar games such as Tic-Tac-Toe or Chess, or invent a completely novel game to play with a new friend on the other side of the glass. Due to the modular nature of the playing pieces, it is suitable for various kinds of play.
“KonneKt has been developed in close collaboration with several hospitals in the Netherlands, with the help of hospitalized children. To gain insight in the world of those children, a special interview method—a game—was developed. The game consisted of different envelopes with questions and assignments in them. For example, children were asked to use stickers to make a floor plan of their hospital room, and to indicate their favorite and least favorite spots. While tinkering, questions were asked by the interviewer to expand on subjects.”
“The insights of the interviews were used for concept development. One of the major problems found was the lack of social contact for isolated children. Isolation is a lot more common than was expected beforehand. Deprivation of social contact for young children can seriously harm normal social development. Also, different types of play were found. The types of children were divided into ‘Adventurers’, ‘Gamers’, and ‘Tinkerers’, who each had their own type of preferred play. The end result of the project had to be suitable for each of those play types!”
“After several brainstorm sessions, it was decided to develop a game which could be played on the windows of their rooms. Through several iterations and tests with children, eventually, KonneKt was developed.”
Photo credits: Job Jansweijer/KonneKt
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