'Pocket Forest' #92

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Pocket Forest is a device for the detection of polluted air. The project started with a DOIT pilot in Slovenia, which included 10 workshops on wearable technology with a focus on data collection and social innovation. Through ten workshops children learned about electricity, e-textile materials, tools and possibilities, conductive materials, LDR sensors, Arduino, Lilipad, construction of basic circuits, use of wearable technology in medicine purposes, temperature sensor, gyrosop (use of wearable technology to determine location), wifi (use in the communication), etc. 

The 9th and 10th workshops included brainstorming of ideas for the projects, defining social innovation, individual planning and development of the projects, making a story, and plan the final project. An Open Lab followed the ten workshops in which the children were researching and developing their respective projects. There were several mentors with different backgrounds which involved to help young innovators.

During the DOIT Challenge (a competition in which children from all over Europe were starting with their ideas) the producers at Kersnikova suggested two innovative ideas: The Sensitive Jacket and Massage Belt. The projects were selected to participate in the second round of the competition and had been developed further with the help of foreign mentors.

The Breathtaking Team (Sensitive Jacket) was assigned to Rozina Spinnoy, a managing director at Belgium Design Council. The mentoring method included both emails and weekly video calls. The mentoring phase was planned from February to March 2020. Because of Covid crisis and general lockdown in Slovenia, the children showed interest to further work with Rozina who also agreed, and mentoring lasted until April 2020.

Originally the team members: Ajda Velkavrh, Maks Pavšek and Samo Medic were working on a project called Sensitive Jacket with a wearable device to measure air quality. They further worked with Rozina on branding, marketing, visual design, and identity, explaining the design process from concept development, design development, emphasizing critical thinking throughout the pilot of testing and overall working with the 'entrepreneurship' and 'business' aspect. Through all these topics the Sensitive Jacket changed into a device called the Pocket Forrest. The device has its unique story, logo, design, and the brochure with each team member who contributed to the design. Pocket Forrest is the winner of the DOIT Challenge.

‘During the project, the participants actively and critically thought about how and to which SD goal they could contribute. They had lots of ideas and the final decision was a jacket, that will help people living in polluted areas. We went from sketch to circuit, and also thought about the portability of the product to reach as wide audience as possible. The group of three acted very homogeneously and together made decisions regarding advertising and marketing, such as the logo image and accompanying text. After the logo was made, a great idea came up: to change the name from ‘Sensitive jacket’ to ‘Pocket Forest’, since the circuit is portable and can easily be put in your pocket. When creating brochures and leaflets, they had complete freedom for creativity and their ideas, so they made multiple versions and they all look great. In addition to all this, they have added a personal note about what the DOIT project meant to them. They also learned how to use some digital tools when making logos, brochures, and leaflets, and a sample of a process. I think everyone is happy with everything they have achieved and I hope Pocket Forest lives on.’ - Eva Pondrk, mentor of the Breathtaking Team in Slovenia.