— In John Maeda’s book, “The Laws of Simplicity” he details how simplicity aids us in maintaining stability in our lives. One law he explains is Time. He states, “Savings in time feel like simplicity.” He cites research done by Apple Computer where subjects were asked to complete an on-screen task that involved a large amount of computer processing time. Those who had a progress bar displayed on screen perceived the event transpiring more quickly than those who did not. The visual cues within this progress bar helped to ease the passage of time, giving reassurance to the individuals.

— In my work I use this element to help the child through the duration of a caregiver’s seizure. Timers within each figure delineate the duration of two phases of a seizure. By turning the head and legs of the character, the child has a visual gauge for how long their caregiver’s seizure should last.

Sentree Backpack

When in a public space with my mother I often felt as if I had little to no power to control what materialized around me if a seizure struck. Strangers panicked, calling emergency services that were unnecessary. It was as if roles reversed, placing me as parent while parent became child. Yet, I was still perceived as a child.

My process in developing this product began by photographing forms within nearby trees. From those photos, I pulled out faces seen in the bark. The imperfect, atypical, endearing face chosen reinforced the vulnerability I wanted the character to project.

This backpack contains a blanket that informs a nervous crowd about a transpiring seizure. This empowers the child by giving them a voice.

Giving Voice


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