A “noisy box” is a sensory stimulation environment designed to assist education professionals in promoting fundamental skills such as the development of object permanence, spatial relations, cause and effect, and memory skills in children with visual and/or multiple impairments.
The design of a noisy box encourages object manipulation and independent play in a non-threatening environment. Closed-in walls amplify sounds created by the child’s play or voice and insulate them from background noise to further enhance the child’s experience.
The few commercially available noisy boxes, typically fabricated from PVC tubing, PVC sheet and plexi glass, are functional but cumbersome to set-up and transport. This is a significant problem since many special education teachers travel to various locations with their resources and tools.
After being made aware of the problems with current noisy box designs by local special education teachers, Design Concepts dedicated the 2011 industrial design and engineering intern program to designing a better solution.
Supported by our human factors, design research, prototyping and project management groups, our interns launched design exploration. Their research identified user needs and the environments in which the noisy box will be used. Though an iterative process of investigation, exploration, prototyping and validation, the team realized a compelling and user-centric solution that embodies the following attributes:
Design Concepts will make the prototype available to educational institutions that are interested in including a noisy box in their class work. Please contact Rainer Schnabel, Director of Product Development at 608.316.8450 for more information.