I am a Mentor for the inaugural cohort of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa’s Te Mahuki program from August to December 2016.

The Te Mahuki program is set find, foster and fund innovative ideas to reimagine human experiences of weaving content and stories with new forms of interaction in both physical and digital realms.

In addition to my role as a Mentor, I will be steering development of the MVP for Tactile Education: Tactile Astronomy.

In New Zealand, almost 1,400 Kiwis have limited vision or are born blind. Over 400 of these individuals live in the greater Auckland area and about 60 are children who are enrolled in the only school for the blind for the whole country, BLENNZ Homai Campus in Manurewa, in the greater Auckland area.

Tactile Education enables Digital Manufacturing-As-A-Service that utilizes 3D printing, CNC cutting and generative design as a medium for storytelling and knowledge sharing.

We believe that recent advances in computer imaging and consumer-level 3D-printing enable us to deliver a cost-competitive solution to provide experiential education avenues through kinesthetic learning with a focus on limited vision and blind youth.

Traditional resources for people who are blind or have limited vision include audiobooks, raised braille paper books and thermal / embossed paper to assist in explaining basic shapes and figures.

We can fundamentally augment the learning experience by introducing innovative workflows and Digital Manufacturing-As-A-Service to museums, libraries, schools, educational resource centers and, eventually, the homes of blind and limited vision individuals.