Posted by: clare on: June 10, 2012
One of my tasks before CHI involved building and delivering three portable kitchens to our partners in ECLS (Education, Communication and Languages Sciences). This was one of the final deliverables of the Language Learning in the Wild project, which led to the building and evaluation of the French Kitchen — I started at Culture Lab just towards the end and led an analysis of the results of that evaluation.
Anyway, assembling three portable kitchens takes longer than you might think — there are plenty of sub-tasks, from ordering the parts in, through time in the workshop physically breaking and rebuilding utensils (to integrate accelerometers into the handles), to adjusting the software for the new context of use. (Of course, my colleagues in Culture Lab were more than willing to pitch in as and when needed. That was especially helpful with tasks that were new to me, such as removing handles from utensils!)
Below is evidence of my success. What you can see there is the three tablets (in their bespoke casing, another thing I needed to source), and on the left is a box with some of the augmented utensils, and all of the wireless accelerometers. Quite a costly pile of stuff — and fun to deliver.
One kitchen will permanently live with ELCS, another is going to a local college we’ve been working with, and the third is there to be loaned out as and when it’s needed.