Minstrel

Unit 1 Project, RCA, Sustainability Goals

Created in 2019

The United Nations goals for Sustainable Development create a call to action for global health and well being. I found it interesting to see in the UN description, there was no mention of care taking for an elderly population.

When I was around 12 years old, my grandmother started showing signs of dementia and our relationship began changing. Having now grown up, I regret not asking her more about her life and asking her to pass her knowledge on to me. Taking my personal experience further, I began to consider the strain on families who live with their loved one struggling with dementia. No longer is it go visit for grandma for tea once a week, it becomes an every day fight.

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Current solutions for handling dementia use exclusive language and are rarely consider families living under the same roof. By telling a kid that "Grandma still loves you, she's just sick," is language that may already begin to push a grandchild away from their family. A child going through puberty is no different than a grandparent struggling with memory loss. Their bodies are changing, and I aimed to design for these two generations on an equal ground.

First prototype - integrated receipt printer, drawer to store music sheets (A4 size), music box mounted to top.

Final prototype - slanted top to improve crank ergonomics and overall acoustics, inside pocket to store music, compact size to fit on side table

Minstrel re imagines the communication between a grandchild and a grandparent by introduce a melody to story telling. A grandchild uses a phone app to record a short story for their grandparent, and then has access to a print file of that story in music box format. The initials of the story teller are marked in the story to have music box note holes punched. When the story is played through the music box, a short and unique melody is played back. The paper music sheet is then stored in the music box for a memento to read and play back for years to come.