A Design-Led Enquiry into Parametric Product Design for Dementia Care

Timeframe: 2017-2020

This PhD research, led by Henry Collingham, explores the role the principles of parametric design – the automated production of designs within defined rules and variables – may play in dementia care settings. Thus far, the research has focused on the role such design processes may play in the creation of tools, artefacts and materials that are used to facilitate creative engagement and expression from people with dementia. Working closely with artists from Equal Arts, we’ve been observing the ways artists facilitate creative workshops with care home residents and the role materials play in opening up and supporting residents to express themselves in ways that they feel comfortable with. Based on insights from participant-observation in care homes, we’ve been producing a set of artefacts – a toolkit – that is open-ended enough to be used by artists across a range of settings, but still enable self-expression and autonomy from care home residents.