UOVO is a sensory pod for individuals with autism. The easily identifiable shape acts as a place marker for quiet spaces within the public space, allowing an individual some privacy to decompress during tantrums or meltdowns. Made with birch plywood, the exterior has been sanded down smooth to the touch. The seat cushion rests on an internal frame that has been designed to support and stabilise the structure. Fully lined with Aquaclean fabric, these cushions protect any aggressive behaviour within the pod while reducing external stimuli.
The project’s aim was to create an object for quiet corners when visitors on the autism spectrum feels overwhelmed as part of the National Museum of Singapore's commitment to becoming a more accessible and inclusive space through the assembly of these furniture. The object will replace some cushioned bench sitting. During our research, we realised there was a lack of furniture that caters to neurotypical users in public spaces. Much of the area surrounded calming rooms within schools for persons with special needs instead. An objective was determined to design an object that was uniquely shaped and easily accessible in terms of fabrication and modification of the design through digital fabrication and simple hardware tools.
The UOVO was designed to be easily manufactured and shipped to reduce overall production cost. Its unique structures do not require an additional supporting structure. The self-supporting structure through the bolting of triangular Computer Numerical Control (CNC) cut panels are later labelled and joined together using common hardware. We achieved a thin structure by embedding the bolts into the panels using CNC milling and grooves. The form is generated by algorithms that provides optimisation in the design which benefits the structural integrity and conservation of material.
The lack of furniture that encourages inclusion in a public space should be tackled through designs that are made easily available. UOVO is made simple to be manufactured by any facility with a CNC milling machine and put together using hardware that are easily available. This allows the design to be accessible and easily adapted.
National Heritage Board