Enabling Ongoingness is a design led research project that is working with people who are bereaved, people who are living with dementia and people who are approaching end of life. The project aims to support people to continue bonds with others in anticipation of and following death. It centres on the idea of ongoingness and using design and digital technologies in gentle, personally meaningful ways.
We are using the term ongoingness to signify a forward-looking facet of continued bonds (Howarth 2007, Klass, et al 2014). Whilst continued bonds can be enacted through a wide range of means; for instance, through memorialisation, or reminiscence – what we are trying to do is create possibilities that go beyond ‘looking back’ or ‘maintaining something precious as it was’ in order to create newness and dynamic continuations of relationships. Ongoingness gives us the conceptual framing to think of how we can give people experiences that can be personally curated to unfold dynamically in response to future events in a person’s life and to think about continued bonds in relation to fluidity, surprise and change over time.