DFR: Designing for Families & Take Aways

The brief I have chosen and will be working on involves designing for families to encourage interaction between the residents under Derwen’s care and their close ones. I am looking forward to working on this, as I understand from first hand experience the importance of family relationships during times of illness and hardship, and also the distance that can be caused by age related conditions. I have a young brother who grows more reluctant to visit my gran with dementia as her condition grows worse, and so the kinds of things that my group in this project could create and develop would hopefully help other families in similar situations to my own to come back together.

After our sessions last week, Wendy asked us to consider what we had taken away with us under three categories: empathy, information and key insights.

Empathy – I found Neil’s North Wind and Sun workshop an interesting metaphor for interpreting different design approaches. It really got me thinking about the way in which designers get the message across in their work, and the importance of considering your audience when designing.

From Amanda’s presentation I took away a better understanding of dementia and the way in which it can affect the sight and experience of those with the disease.

Information – The information provided on Gaer gave context to the briefs and aided my attempts to empathise by giving another level of information about the people who live there and use the services.

Key Insights – Some key insights I took away were aspects of the life of an older person which may seem plainly obvious but are perhaps not considered unless you are in that age category. In a documentary on Channel 4 featuring members of the older generation in a home, some residents spoke about how old age creeps up on your – one day you feel young and then the next you can’t do all of the things you have always been able to do. They also talked about how no one educates you on the changes that will happen as you enter older age and there are things that people should be prepared for. Being older and living alone can become lonely and lead people to become antisocial and reclusive. The clients for this brief have the resources to create situations in which families can visit their relatives in a comfortable and friendly environment, have fun and catch up.

 

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