Strengths of autism continue to shine in 3D

Back in November 2007, we announced the official launch of Project Spectrum. Because I know that readers of this blog are dedicated, never-miss-a-post-and-even-go-back-and-read-the-archived-stuff-that-was-posted-before-you-discovered-this-blog type folks, I won't bother to rehash my old post. Not too much, at least.

As you undoubtedly recall, Project Spectrum was launched after we happily discovered that people with autism are using Google SketchUp in unique and exciting ways. We learned that SketchUp plays to the visual and spatial strengths that so many people on the autism spectrum possess. During the year and a half since that last post, Googlers have been working with the autism community to introduce kids, teachers, parents and adults to SketchUp. These Googlers aren't limited to members of the SketchUp team - they work on all sorts of different Google products, and are spread across several offices (and even countries!). We've all been amazed, inspired, and touched by the results and decided it needed to be shared with the rest of the SketchUp community...

So, the Project Spectrum team is recognizing Autism Awareness Month by showing off the work of some of our star SketchUppers, spreading the Project Spectrum word, and introducing a new video tutorial. Don't miss the Project Spectrum Collection in the Google 3D Warehouse and while you're in there, be sure to check out the Astropolis models - concept art for a video game designed for autism research.

But the models are only part of the story. The kids' accomplishments on and off the computer are just as impressive. It's amazing what can be done with talent, determination, and a little 3D software...

  • Casey just received the Temple Grandin Award in recognition of his accomplishments (including his role in the Astropolis Project and acting as a spokesperson for Project Spectrum).
  • Rachel's creativity and artistic abilities have earned her multiple awards, as well as college credit. Rachel is beginning an internship in which she will be using her skills to do design work for the public.
  • JP's enviable SketchUp talents have introduced him to design software which he will be using as he pursues a career in video game design.


Please join us in recognizing Autism Awareness Month as we tip our caps to the members of Project Spectrum and recognize their talents and accomplishments!

Tom Wyman, Project Spectrum Team

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6 comments :

peter.w said...
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狼星 said...
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T Flohr said...

I find this type of work absolutely amazing. Personally I am working on developing a participatory planning tool built around Sketchup and Google Earth to help capture a larger audience in the planning and design process. This video shows that by thinking outside the box we can always help those that have struggled to have their voices heard.

6WnyB0wqoP7YP.ZBz2p_U9VgYQgXnmkHsQ-- said...

What I find interesting is the different ways that people who are visual-spatially gifted use Sketchup to illustrate concepts that at first blush have little to do with CAD or even modeling, but which, in retrospect make so much sense, given the intuitive nature of SketchUp.
I will say that I am still slow to use it. I entered the field of architecture in the early 80's when drafting was done by hand. I started using CAD not long after that and entered a protracted period of unhappiness without knowing why. I think a large part of it was the way a computer limits motion and variation, and the impicit limitations of a 2D display. I also find that I can draw views of even complicated buildings by hand faster than I can model them by Sketchup, although I realize the efficiency in using a model for a variety of purposes, especially when integrated with CAD, but as good as SU is, nothing beats drawing by hand. But then, I'm an old fogey. :)

pandigital said...

Hi - I just came across this project as my own work has led me to use Sketchup with a variety of children with additional educational needs here in the UK, The coincidence is that a previous project of mine was also called Project Spectrum ( www.projectspectrum.co.uk ) and was also using computer software with children on the autistic spectrum. Good luck with your work -it certainly looks to be going well - and I look forward to doing more sketchup work myself with youngsters.

viji said...

My autistic son is enjoying it ! Keep up the great work ...