A project in which a group of professional designers and several institutions that deal with people with dementia designed activities with and for senior citizens who show signs of dementia.
With A Set of Social Games for Senior Citizens with Dementia / D9, we tried to bridge the gap between people suffering from dementia and those who care for them. Our initial observations suggested that a well-designed activity set could be a positive tool and provide much-needed assistance to family members and professional caregivers. The activity set offers solutions that respond to the needs of both groups in an understandable, stimulating, and deliberately designed way. The Set of Social Games for Senior Citizens with Dementia / D9 is the result of two years of collaboration with designers, people with dementia, and the therapists and family members that take care of them on a daily basis, and its success is a confirmation of the research process and the use of the tools and methods described above.
Background of Project D9
Project D9 developed in three main phases. In the first phase, which took place during the 2012/2013 academic year, the authors, lecturers in the theory of design at the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts and Design (hereafter referred to as ALUO), offered second and third years students in visual communication design, industrial design and applied arts the opportunity to enrol in a volunteer educational-experimental program entitled Designing an Agenda, or, How to Avoid Solving Problems That Aren’t. The goal of the project was to acquaint students with the basic methodology and tools of service and information design through practical fieldwork and obligatory collaboration with stakeholders. The students were allowed to choose any project in the field of health care or sustainable transport.
The second phase of the program was an international creative camp. On the basis of the results of the student’s research-experiment seminars, the projects of workshop participants in both health care and sustainable transport were reassessed by the mentors and redesigned, developed, or shifted in a different direction if necessary. All the various stakeholders actively collaborated in this phase of the project: end users, experts in the field, and numerous professionals from the creative industries.
After seven months of research and development, the projects that had gone through both phases were presented at an exhibition and in a book that included the details of each project.
Among the presented works, the D9 Project stood out. On the basis of the extremely positive response of users, both people with dementia and their caregivers, as well as encouragement from the professional public, the Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban Region and Pekinpah Association decided to continue financing the project. In this way, D9 entered the third (pilot) phase. A group of professional designers and several institutions that deal with people with dementia joined the original team.
The Set of Social Games for Senior Citizens with Dementia / D9 was designed and developed by Jože Carli, Petra Černe Oven, Brina Fekonja, Breda Klančič, Katarina Kranjc, Gregor Makovec, Jure Miklavc, Barbara Predan, Urška Preis, Barbara Šušteršič, Silva Vitez
Partners: Nursing Home Ljubljana Vič Rudnik – Bokalce branch, Papilot Institute, Nursing Home Fužine, Associate Professor dr Aleš Kogoj, MD
Studio Miklavc / Pekinpah Association project manager: Jure Milklavc
RRA LUR project manager: Nataša Mršol
Head of RRA LUR's creative camp / project conceptualization: Tina Pezdirc Nograšek
Produced by Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban Region (RRA LUR)
The Set of Social Games for Senior Citizens with Dementia was conceptualized during the »Designing an Agenda, or, How to Avoid Solving Problems That Aren’t« creative camp in April 2013
Idea by: Brina Fekonja, Breda Klančič, Katarina Kranjc, Gregor Makovec, Urška Preis
Mentors: dr. Petra Černe Oven, dr. Barbara Predan (Pekinpah, ALUO)
Organization: RRA LUR and the Pekinpah Association