Congratulations to Louise Philo, a 2013 BA (Hons) Design Product graduate who has recently been named as one of the Design Council's One to Watch.
Louise has developed Monkeyton, a child’s learning aid and toy, that is aimed at children with speech and language impairments.
Louise tells us she began developing Monkeyton in the third year of her BA (Hons) Product Design degree: "I started by doing some research into the current market and found a lack of toys to promote speech and language skills for children with special needs.'
Recognising this gap in the market, Louise made contact with speech and language therapists, teachers, parents and children who have speech and language impairments and undertook a lot of research into life with speech and language impairments and how sign is currently taught within schools and by therapists.
‘Monkeyton’: Design and copyright, Louise Philo 2014
During the development of the product Louise also had one-to one product testing with children and their teachers at Shenstone School; a school for children with special needs, to make sure that the product really did improve the way that children with speech and language impairments communicate.
Louise also commented that "Since graduating Monkeyton has developed a lot, I am now working on producing an application to enhance the learning experience for the child, as well as character development and branding of the product. I have been lucky enough to gain a place at Ravensbourne’s incubation as well as funding through Ravensbourne from Unltd. By making it on to Design Councils One to watch list I hope that Monkeyton inspires current and future Ravensbourne students to realise the importance of human centred design and it’s potential to change the lives"."The reaction from the children, teachers and support staff was brilliant and made me realise how important it is complete the development of Monkeyton and to create new products to help people who really need it" said Louise.
To find out more about Monkeyton and Louise Philo, please visit the One to Watch page at the Design Council.
Or you can visit Louise's own site at: louisepdesign.tumblr.com