Scattergood Foundation

Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health

Interactive Mat

Intervention Description
Laura Cuconati
Overall Description: 
This product was designed to generate a sense of comfort within Jane Addams Place. Having little private space, this space-saving, interactive mat allows the user to peel up different panels to form two seats, a side table, and desk. By simply lifting the panels, the furniture starts to take its shape. These panels can then be folded back into the original flat mat. This simple, transformable foam mat, with plastic backing can be used in many different ways. The foam allows safety and comfort, while the plastic backing is used to create a hard surface for activities and support. Allowing users to feel safe and comfortable in their environment is what drove the design. Allowing mothers and children to customize their furniture for their own needs is the sensation the mat releases. Needing time to read, rest, reflect, and learn are just some of the actions that can take place with the furniture. Multipurpose use for some of the furniture was key in the design. After folding the mat into a backrest, the mother and/or child can turn around, attach a reusable chalk or dry erase sheet and use it as an easel. Additionally, the flat mat can be used for support under the cots on the floor for overflow guests. Learning, teaching and resting in your own private space with the customizable mat provides the user a sense of control, comfort, and productivity.
This product promotes most of the six principles of a trauma-informed approach. Feeling safe within your personal space is very important. With this product, the user can feel safe while resting, filling out applications on their personal desk, or relaxing while reading on the mat. The children can use the easel to learn and draw in a safe environment. Peer support within a private space is essential. Parents can use the mat as an interactive component in teaching and helping children with their homework or other activities. The mat allows users to interact on both a personal and peer oriented level, utilizing the key built in features, including the easel, seat-back, desk, etc. The product is very closely related to the empowerment, voice and choice principal of a trauma informed approach. This product provides the user with customization and choice within their space at Jane Addams. Folding the mat into different pieces allows for choice and voice in their actions. This becomes their space to personally find their voice and heal the best way they see fit. This is a cross cultural and gender product, as it is designed for all genders and cultures to personalize as they desire. Allowing each user their own way to interact with the product.
This product is original.
This product will have a great impact on Jane Addams. These furniture pieces allow users to feel physically safe, while exploring their creative boundaries. By allowing users the choice to control their environment, users can interact with this product in whichever way is most comfortable to them. It is no secret that people have a need to feel safe in their environment, which is exactly what this product offers. The unique customizable features allow the user total control over their creativity, activities, and most importantly their personal space. This promotes a therapeutic habitat for a range of beneficial, wholesome actives.
The first step to implementing this product is manufacturing. After assembled, the product will be set on the ground and ready to be customized to the user’s preference. Minimal design changes may be needed to ensure this is an easy, ready to use product.
Estimated Cost of Production: 
Do the production costs decrease as the number of units produced increases?: 
Space and Staffing Required: 
The space required is simply floor space in any room. No staffing is required to maintain this product.
Does your product require training of shelter staff to use appropriately?: 
Training Details: 
This product does not require any training to be used appropriately.
Once the manufacturing process is complete, this product will be ready to use indefinitely. There is no additional funding needed for this product.
This product can have as large of an impact on other shelters as it will for Jane Addams. Most shelters don’t provide the safe, stimulating environmental space that this product insures, and any shelter can benefit from it. The only process to implement this product in other shelters is to simply manufacture additional replicas.
One of the key aspects of this product is personalization. No two users are alike, and neither are the ways that they could interact with this product. With endless possibilities, this product will impact users on varying levels. Measuring the impact of this product will require a personal evaluation as unique as the product itself. What will be apparent for all users is an increase in productivity created by the environment this product provides.

Supporting Materials