Families are at the heart of this project and so we aim to create work which encourages the strengthening of family relationships. Isolation and loneliness are common amongst older residents of independent living associations like Derwen, and so the frequent visitation of family can considerably improve the overall quality of life, by tackling these issues. The most important thing to say/show is care, compassion and consideration for both the families and their older relatives. We hope to show understanding of different age related conditions and recognition of the identity and individuality of the residents. It is important to demonstrate the importance of interaction between different generations and to close the intergenerational gap by helping different ages to learn from each other.
I have been looking at the recent public art display put up around Cardiff in support of Ty Hafan. This project comes in the form of Snowdogs assembled around Cardiff featuring all sorts of different themes, patterns and colours. They have been created by designers, artists, schools, sponsors and partners of the charity, and more. There are similar public art exhibitions going on in Birmingham and Bristol, all for similar causes to raise money and awareness for local charities.
In a presentation from a Derwen representative, it was clear there is an issue with a lack of benches and rest stops between the residental homes and the new Hub build. These places are also situated on a hill; a difficult journey for those with reduced mobility.
Taking all of this into account, I decided that my project would involve adding to the area a number of benches along the journey from the top of the hill down to the Hub. Families of residents can ‘sponsor a bench’ and decorate it however they wish with the help of a team of local designers and artists. The idea is that when walking to the Hub, residents can see the brightly coloured benches ahead of them, knowing the distance they have to walk before they can have a break. On each bench will be a QR code and hashtag to work with an interactive app, where, if scanned, users can unlock the ‘story’ of each family and how their made their individual bench.
For the remainder of this project, I will be working on designing the look of the app and a physical map directing users to all of the benches.
On Friday, we had a workshop with Neil looking at ‘taking the red pill’ with our ideas AKA, pushing our ideas outside the realms of the ordinary and making them extra ordinary. Angelo spoke to us about splitting our design process into three sections – awareness, use and sharing. Awareness is about making people aware of what it is you are actually doing, and how you can use design to get the word out there into the world to the right people. Use is the actual event, or the actual thing you want people to see and do. Sharing is what comes afterwards – how people share your idea and interact with it and other people. This is perhaps where the digital element could become more evident, as social media is such a great tool for spreading messages quickly. I am currently working on first of all coming up with a memorable and effective name for this project and then looking at how I can promote it to families. I am keen to work on the app as I think it is perfect for this project, the client seemed very keen on it, and I do not yet have an app in my portfolio.