Blog

September 2016 CWTCH

We were delighted to welcome Dr Gail Kenning from the University of Technology, Sydney Australia to our monthly cwtch meeting. Gail led a lively discussion on evaluation, particularly from her position as a practicing artist working in applied research. The idea that the terminology and range of methodologies for including participants as partners in research needs to change resonated with most of us, who still feel that the dominant perspective is to view participants as subjects. The possibility that the arts could provide a “third space” provoked suggestions from CARIAD members from all disciplines, and led to discussions how we might encourage our Masters students to have a more active role in our research. We shared ideas on the potential to offer a suite of Masters projects that would enable our students to collaborate, across disciplines, on CARIAD our project. More on this to follow….

The Vale of Glamorgan show

Members of the CARIAD team supported the Alzheimer’s Society at The Vale of Glamorgan show, by running Hand i Pocket sessions.  Visitors to the show were invited to stitch sensory textile pockets for people living with advanced dementia and the Alzheimer’s Society were on hand to offer advice and support.

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Wales Festival of Innovation

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CARIAD threw open its doors this month to share its pioneering design research. The LAUGH project team, based in CARIAD, are working with health professionals and the care sector to develop playful objects to be used in the care of people with late stage dementia.

The LAUGH design Challenge took place in PDR at Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Llandaff Campus, and invited the public with an interest in design and technology to get involved as part of the showcase Wales Festival of Innovation, a national programme of events to celebrate ground-breaking activity in Wales.

The LAUGH team, which includes researchers from universities in the UK and Australia, gave participants the opportunity to use their expertise to help develop new products to stimulate laughter and fun for people living with advanced dementia.

This was one of dozens of participants in the Festival, which is organised jointly by the ESTnet (the technology network for Wales), the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) and MediWales with the support of Welsh Government and industry partners.

Wychwood Festival

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CARIAD members recently ran a series of Hand i Pocket ‘funshops’ at the Wychwood Festival (3rd – 5th June 2016).  These sessions offered visitors to the festival the opportunity to get creative and make a sensory textile ‘Hand i Pocket’ for someone with late stage dementia.  A Hand i Pocket is a stitched textile pocket that looks colourful, is interesting to touch and comforting to feel that will stimulate and amuse someone with late stage dementia.

Working with Age Cymru and Dementia & Imagination (Bangor Univeristy) at the festival, CARIAD’s Funshops were a great success with many pockets made.

Hand i Pocket Funshops are a global community network making textiles for people with dementia. More information about Hand i Pockets can be found at: www.laughproject.info or www.handsproject.info

Visit to CHeBA

Tuesday February 9th 2016 Professor Cathy Treadaway and Dr Gail Kenning met with Professor Henry Brodaty, Scientia Professor of Ageing and Mental Health at CHeBA Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, University of New South Wales, Sydney, to discuss the LAUGH project and other related dementia projects in Australia. Professor Brodaty is one of the leading academics in the field of dementia research in Australia.

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NAS Autism and Technology

This one-day conference brought a diverse range of speakers and delegates together to share research, practical experiences and ideas for technological innovation. Jamie and Lion set the tone for understanding the impact of technology in day-to-day living – for communication, work and leisure.

Our talk offered a journey through our experiences of developing software, focusing on Attention, Perception, Feedback, Repetition and Flow. We used this opportunity to launch the first release of Somatopia, which aims to bridge the gap between genuine innovation and end users who are disenfranchised through perceptions of disability and lack of resources (human and technological).

We hope that by making the software, code and instructions for designing Somatopia apps available to download, Somatopia will appeal to enthusiasts with expert knowledge, and those who enjoy making and tinkering with technology. See more on the Somatopia page.