Words by Sean Douglas
It’s frustrating how Dyslexia can affect your memory. In many areas my memory is almost photographic. For instance, there are many occasions where I’ve heard a song once. Years later, when hearing that song for the second time, I’ve been able to recite the melody perfectly. On other occasions I’ve remembered conversations almost verbatim months after they’ve happened. In contrast I’m constantly being ostracised at social gatherings because a name, I’ve literally been told seconds ago, falls straight out of my mind. At work my ostracisation comes when instructions I’ve been given on multiple occasions just won’t stick. The social faux pas of forgetting names is one thing, but when our short and mid-term memory lets us down while taking on important tasks in the workplace, the consequences can be a little more dramatic.
Trying to make dyslexic minds more proficient at remembering words, tasks and sequences has sprouted many techniques, schools of thought and movements. Many of these techniques try and bypass some of the decoding our brains struggle with by using movement, tactility and visual cues to help anchor direct paths to our brains processing centers. Molding letters out of plasticine, drawing in sand and associating physical actions with words and letters are just some of the techniques used.
With this in mind it struck me that this entry in the Istanbul Design Biennia may be a great dyslexic learning tool. The ‘workout keyboard’ is a keyboard where the keys have been replaced by punch bags. Meaning, that boring email to account’s is turned in to a full on Jean-Cluade van Damme, ‘Blood Sport’ Experience.
Bless, the Berlin based design firm that created the concept keyboard said they wanted to make typing a ‘full body experience’. “We find it terribly outdated to have a day split into a working time and a leisure time,” the firm’s founders said.
Although trying to type anything of real significance on this keyboard would be completely impractical. This keyboard would totally serve its purpose on those particularly frustrating days when your Dyslexia seems to be at its most prominent. How cool would it be to punch and kick out an email to release some of that pent up tension?
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