One of the joys of being in Europe (or near it) is that you get to see the work of people that you'd only read about. I remember using some of Dr Jayne Wallace's work in my MDes thesis, so was happy to hear that she had recently moved to work at Northumbria.
For those who don't know about her, Wallace has a background in contemporary jewellery, but has moved into using jewellery and craft in design reserach. Her talk today was about two projects both based around working with dementia patients: the Selfhood Project (working with sufferers and their carers) and the Reminsicence Room (a project for a home in Middlesborough that houses patients with severe dementia).
Some of the key takeaways were how technology can be combined with craft in subtle ways to help encourage memories and behaviours (e.g. Never Ending Story-like globes with special objects in them that can be placed near a special TV to play related movie clips). Wallace also pointed out that the person you think you’re working with most may not be the key person — she initially thought the work on selfhood would be for the sufferers, but found that it was actually just as if not more important for the carers as well, to help them both keep the memories of the person they were caring for but also validate themselves in a difficult and ongoing role.
Digital sketchnotes below: