Design project to have positive impact on dementia
People with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are set to benefit from a ground-breaking new design project led by the University of Wolverhampton.
Those with dementia frequently struggle with memory and perceptions of identity. The ‘MinD’ project, a consortium of 13 European and international partners, aims to improve their wellbeing by increasing perceptions of self-empowerment and social engagement.
The researchers participating in the project will be developing innovative mindful design solutions, including wearable designs as well as environmental interventions.
The designs are aimed at enabling individuals to manage their condition, develop perceptions of self-empowerment, and build confidence, helping them to cope better with every day social situations.
Prof Kristina Niedderer, Project Co-ordinator, said: “Design can offer novel ways of complementing existing care approaches to empower people with dementia in everyday social situations.
“Utilising the concept of mindful design, we will investigate innovative design solutions to enable self-empowerment and confidence building of people living with dementia."
The project will focus on two areas: personal difficulties with social interaction and environmental influences on social engagement.
Professor Niedderer said: “In these two contexts, we will study how personal, wearable designs can help mediate perceptions of identity and emotion management; and how environmental aspects can reduce feelings of information overload and instil feelings of self-empowerment and control.
13 academic and non-academic partners from six countries will work on MinD, combining research in product and environmental design, ICT, and dementia care.
Earlier this month, the University of Wolverhampton’s Brussels office hosted the first partner meeting of the MinD project, led by Professor Niedderer of the University’s Faculty of Arts. Over the next four years, the partners will work together to design and create a number of experiential prototypes to support people with dementia.
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The project will be carried out through a series of 15-day exchanges in the partner countries: the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Spain and Australia.
The partners involved in the MinD project are:
1) Universities - University of Wolverhampton (Faculty of Arts; Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing; Faculty of Science and Engineering; UK), Universiteit Twente (NL), Technische Universitaet Dresden (DE), Université de Luxembourg (LX), Queensland University of Technology (Australia)
2) Dementia care & policy - Alzheimer Europe (LX), Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (UK), Alexianer St Hedwig Klinik Berlin (DE), Zorggroep Sint Marten (NL)
3) Design and ICT – Panton designers for healthcare (NL), Picharchitects (ES), Eurecat (ES), INTRAS (ES)
For more information, go to the MinD project website at www.designingfordementia.eu
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 691001.
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