RESHAPE19 | Cognified matter
Wearable Technology category
Ejtech

PT Team: Dániel Szalkaiesigner & co-founder
Manager & co-founder: Eszter Szász –
Designer: Rita Bencze
Hardware & Programing: EJTECH Team: Judit Eszter Kárpáti, Esteban De La Torre
Manufacturing: COIL Budapest

 

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Introduction

In 2014 Daniel Szalkai graduated from the Moholy-Nagy Art University as a product designer. His diploma project was the proto version of Perceptual Thinkers, which consisted of six different type of textile products. Thanks to the unusual design elements and visual appearance, it has generated wide interest and delivered several honors. Daniel won the Hungarian Design Award 2015 in Student Category and at the Highlights of Hungary 2015 competition the project was shortlisted amongst the best 10 and received InStyle Hungary’s special prize. In 2017 supported by the Autistic Foundation of Miskolc the PT expanded with a textile designer a design & brand manager. With this extended team and their first collection, they won the Hungarian Design Award 2017 Special Prize in Product design category.

Collaboration

The EJTECH studio – founded by Esteban de la Torre and Eszter Kárpáti – focuses on experimental interactions, exploring the interconnection of music and textural fabrics in their installations, while Perceptual Thinkers products draw inspiration from the behavior and clothing preferences of people living with autism. The main tool of the brand is the sensorial perception: thanks to the current design, playful and suggestive stimuli or resting points are implemented on the clothes.
The two teams collaborated for an exciting capsule collection, which has a flagship item: a special jacket with embroidery on it, which are connected to sensors. These sensors respond to touches that play pre-programmed harmonic and disharmonic sound patterns, which can be heard via headphones or any devices with a jack plug. The patterns also have a prominent role: they interpret the sounds on the jacket in a visual form. These graphics also appear on the other items of the collection, which are designed to display the spirit and visual concept of the collaboration. The PT Team created the design and partly the product concept with the EJTECH Team, who next this also made the technical part of the product.

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In addition to meeting their physiological needs, for people living with autism also important to achieve self-fulfillment and an independent life. The stereotypical or unusual behavior patterns of the autistic people are the phenomena of perception- based thinking and socially isolated life. These are the reasons, because of which they need help to live a better life. This support can come from the world of design, as it can make a social phenomenon that is hard to understand, such as autism, more acceptable. Perceptual Thinkers is an initiative, which goes beyond the specific design of product and is trying to bring this special group closer to the typical people.
The goal is to use this product to educate the typical people and to break down stereotypes about the autistic people, such as incapacity for independent living, education or employment. Our long-term goal is to help them integrate into our society either as students or as employees, but most importantly a human being living a fulfilled life. With our high-quality products, we would like to keep this discussion alive, moreover find and use new platforms where employees, educational institutions, organizations and NGOs are open to learn about the integration & development process, which our advisor – the Autistic Foundation of Miskolc – build and use.
Besides these goals, we also aim to inspire other designers and creative professionals to integrate similarly sensitive topics in their design.

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