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Creative kit to reduce stress for parents to children with special needs

Rotem Shafir Rinder

Mentor — Hadas Zemer Ben-Ari
Design Management and Innovation track

How do I integrate creativity in the complex everyday lives of parents to children with special needs?

In Israel, there are about 246,000 children with special needs, who require endless care and patience. Their parents experience stress, but the attention of the authorities, health funds and treatment centers is focused on the children, and the parents are left with no emotional care. This project shifts the focus to the parents. It relies on studies showing that art has the power to reduce stress. The project does not purport to provide therapy but relief. It combines mindfulness and meditation with the world of artistic creation. In the field I recognized a desire for creation, but also barriers. Many perceive art as a world reserved for a select group. Self-criticism, social anxiety and performance anxiety lead many to abandon their creativity in adulthood. The joy of creation of the childhood period is characterized by release from the shackles of criticism, thus enabling a sensory experience, which I sought to rekindle among parents. ME TIME is a creative kit for reducing stress among parents of children with special needs. The box containing the materials is delivered to the parents’ house. It is gradually opened over seven days, ten minutes a day with audio guidance. The experience intensifies the joy of creation, facilitating introspection, improving parents’ wellbeing and making them want to continue creating. Another opportunity for intervention was identified in treatment centers, where art materials can be placed with a link to audio guidance files, or even a guidance by an external tutor for a group of parents. Additional distribution channels include audio files in meditation applications, an app or podcast of short daily tutorials in various languages and international distribution of the box.

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Rotem Shafir Rinder

Multidisciplinary designer, architect, lecturer and entrepreneur. Rotem was involved for about a decade in the planning of leading architectural projects. In recent years she worked as a guide to students teaching design basics, and as a lecturer for practical engineers, also as a studio project guide. Entrepreneur of Beit Shafir (Shafir House), a gallery of mosaic works by the late artist Ilana Shafir, her grandmother, where she hosts groups for tours, workshops and lectures.

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