Language Learning Lab - Tom SloanTom Sloan

Language Learning Lab

Client: Monash University
Location: Budapest Hungary and Melbourne Australia
Status: Completed May 2010
Photography: Tom Sloan

A language learning facility with an integrated computer assisted teaching system. The technology is contained within the tables and exposed when needed, providing a flexible teaching environment.

The tables were designed during the time I was learning Hungarian in a dated and out of touch environment in Budapest. The project was an opportunity to investigate the relationship between computers and learning.

This is an interesting project for me as it is an example of the design process being introduced after the major decisions were made, which determine the direction of the project.

It is also the first project I have developed in absence. Working with a local manufacturer in Melbourne and using skype to develop the design and discuss fabrication issues. This process was very fluid and successful due to the long running working relationship with the manufacturer. I realised the importance of a face to face working relationship to a successful online collaboration.

The technology specified by the commission was out of step with the times, using antiquated desktop computers instead of touch screen tablets. The project became short lived as the contract with the supplier expired soon after, and the entire system was replaced. For me the thinking remains important and the product an example of one poor decision following another.

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© Tom Sloan