KISTproject worked with children, their families and care staff at Children’s Hospices Across Scotland to craft soft products as tools for communication.


The project developed a physical x digital communication system comprised of customisable textiles for children with complex communication needs and reduced motor movement to connect online and communicate their personality, likes and environmental needs.


KISTproject was co-created as a result of two projects; Pigeon Post by Jo Hodge, a PHD research student at Duncan of Jordanstone, and Hamefarer’s Kist by Hazel White, director of Master of Design at Duncan of Jordanstone.


kist: def. any chestlike container; a box, trunk, or basket. 

KISTproject brought together design researchers from the University of Dundee with Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) to co-design, develop and test a prototype system which enables access to the internet using simple hand held soft objects (such as toys and accessories, pictured) as ‘remote controls’. Many CHAS residents have conditions which cause their motor functions to diminish over time, making it increasingly difficult for them to use computers for socialising and entertainment, without assistance. Residents may also have complex communication needs which can present challenges in getting to know other residents, staff and volunteers. The KISTproject system, by linking personalised textile objects with online content (for example favourite songs or games), quickly conveyed residents' likes and needs, and supported relationship building. 

The project was funded by the Scottish Funding Council through their Innovation Voucher Scheme


The team:

Hazel White (Programme Director Master of Design, DJCAD)

Dr Jo McNicoll (Formerly DJCAD)

Paul MacKinnon (Technical Support Specialist, DJCAD)

Sara Nevay (Postgraduate Student, DJCAD)
CHAS staff, families and visitors