CARIAD’s Wendy and Leah and partner from CARIAD Interactive Joel Gethin Lewis had the warmest of welcomes and most productive of workshops at Learning Curve Gadlys, Independent Living Resource Centre in Aberdare this morning. This will be teams’ new home for the coming months working in partnership with the staff at the centre to develop a brand new set of applications, making movement irresistible for people with learning difficulties.
We are always a bit nervous going into a new centre for the first time to meet our new stakeholders. We want to give them the best possible introduction to the projects to create a supportive and dynamic workshop environment so that we can really understand and learn from the people who work closest with our end users, so the pressure was on!
After some slightly perplexed looks when CARIAD Interactive demonstrated the ‘Top Hat Smile Detector’, the group took to the paper-prototyping knowledge exchange workshop with ease, and of course smiles!
It was a true delight to capture some of the prototype ideas from the group, to listen intently to their expertise and to really get a sense of the community, the fantastic work each individual achieves on a daily basis and to be immersed in their world. Within only a few hours our group identified several key areas in designing for users with various levels of mobility.
The most significant outcome of the day was bringing on board such an engaging and involved group who (in the space of a morning) took complete ownership of this project and have integrated Somability firmly into their resource centre and local community. Looking forward to our next visit to feedback some early prototypes!
CARIAD were delighted to partake in a very interesting workshop and debate to re/engage the public with classical music through digital platforms. The event was run as a part of the larger CEWN project series, where CARIAD has several on-going collaborations and partnerships http://cewn.weebly.com/. The day also identified some synergies with CARIAD and S4C and BBC Wales.
We are looking forward to seeing how the projects develop especially since so many important issues were raised. Questions asked included ‘what is classical music’, ‘why is it called classical’. The elitist attitude and the accessibility of classical music for all demographics was also on the agenda, certainly some meaty food for thought. Thanks to all involved for hosting such an interdisciplinary day and facilitating in bridging gaps between academia and the media. Take a look her for details of the pilot projects https://www.mediaacademywales.org/partners-pilot-the-first-connected-studio-for-higher-education
Cathy presented the ‘Making a Difference’ research project at the Art of Good Health and Wellbeing 5th International Conference in Sydney, Australia. Cathy is currently doing an International SIP working with Arts and Health Australia and developing a collaborative project with Dr. Gail Kenning from University of Technology Sydney.
CARIAD’s Leah Mc Laughlin presented some of her research activities at the international conference ‘Creative Processes in Art’ at the Centre for Fine Arts Lisbon.http://creativeprocessesinart.weebly.com/index.html. There was plenty of insightful discussion over the two days. Some interesting papers for CARIAD included: the relationship between corporate businesses and performance art. We were also treated to a guided tour of the infamous University building which houses the faculty of Fine Arts, it even included areas which are no longer open to the public!
It is always very informative participating in such an interesting conference topic and to speak to a largely theoretical and philosophical audience. It seems that whenever ‘creativity’ is discussed, its multiple interpretations and various modes of application and understanding elicit thoughtful and provoking debate. It also became apparent that CARIAD’s commitment to applied methods also has a clear and necessary place within these largely theoretical consortiums.
The ways in which CARIAD directly works with people and our developing research methods to accommodate this was a point of interest and praise for many of the delegates. Some very interesting relationships were established and CARIAD are looking forward to many future collaborations.
CARIAD had our biggest event to date on Thursday, our official launch at the iconic Senedd building in Cardiff bay. We were honoured to have the support of three assembly members. Leanne Wood AM officially launched the centre and offered wonderful words of support and encouragement for the team. Eluned Parrott AM was our official sponsor and made the day possible. She presented some insightful thoughts and offered her congratulations to the successes of CARIAD thus far. We are looking forward to welcoming Eluned Parrott AM at some of our workshops in the near future! Jenny Rathbone AM also attended the day in full support of all of our research projects. We were also thrilled to have the wonderful Glynis from the Hollies School and Anthony from Trinity Fields on the podium to represent our stakeholders and say a few words about their experiences working with CARIAD. John Killick from Dementia Positive closed the session with a touching poem and invited everybody to come and have fun at his workshop later.
In true CARIAD style the day was much much more than a launch, we also hosted two separate workshops and demonstrated some of our capturing and video coding technologies working with AnalysisPro LTD http://www.analysispro.net/ and the Centre for Performance Analysis http://www3.cardiffmet.ac.uk/english/sport/about/staff/academic/pa/pages/home.aspx
Wendy’s Paper Prototyping workshop used paper to rapid prototype interactive and non-verbal communicative devices. The morning invited our PLC (professional learning community) group in Gesture-Based Technologies http://kinectsen.wikispaces.com/ and many new stakeholders to come up with a technology, using only paper, which might facilitate communication. These were presented back to the group and a vote was taken on which technology to develop further. The ‘rhythm detector’ won in the end and our invited coding and technology experts from our partner’s at CARIAD Interactive http://cariadinteractive.com/ created a code and working prototype which we were all playing on by the end of the session, not bad for a day’s work!
Our second workshop was last of Cathy’s OPAN funded sessions, we invited John Killick from Dementia Positive to come and run one of his infamous ‘invitation to have fun’ events, and fun it was. We made human statues, described objects through touch and even had a puppet show! While the sound of laughter was echoing from the building throughout the day the message was poignant: Dementia is not something to be frightened of or to shy away from. We need to find ways to engage with it and adopt a more positive and responsive attitude towards investigating and understanding some of the underlying features of the condition and ‘we must not be afraid to laugh’! You can read more about the day’s events and see more pictures here on Cardiff Met’s main page: http://www3.cardiffmet.ac.uk/English/News/Pages/CardiffMetlaunchesinteractiveandinclusiveartsresearchfacility.aspx
Our latest edition to the team Steve Coleman PhD student (read about him here http://cariadblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/cariad-awarded-ria-research-innovation-award-to-support-new-phd-student-steve-coleman-investigating-the-benefits-of-creative-play-for-people-with-dementia/ ) also made this fantastic video documenting the day’s events, take a look https://vimeo.com/75386114 thanks Steve!
CARIAD really has so many people to thank for the successes of the day and rather than thank a few here publicly we would rather thank EVERYBODY privately. Here’s looking forward to making this an annual event, thanks to all involved
CARIAD are delighted to announce the latest edition to the team, our first fully funded PhD student Steve Coleman. Steve was awarded the prestigious RIA (Research Innovation Award) scholarship from Cardiff Met to research the therapeutic benefits of creative ludic play for people with dementia. This is a part of one of CARIAD’s bigger projects led by Cathy into well-being within the aging population.
Steve completed an outstanding Masters here at Cardiff Met which looked at the healing potentials of being playful. We are thrilled that he has been given the opportunity to develop the project here at CARIAD and to have such a dynamic and committed new academic associate to contribute to the centre. I’m sure everybody will be keen to extend their congratulations in due course. On behalf of CARIAD, well done Steve excited to have you on board and looking forward to working with you!
A final workshop, full of future possibilities, was held at the Wales Millennium Centre this afternoon where the iMAGINE team (Cathy, Prue, Karen and Richard) welcomed some new potential funders from Cardiff Met and Cardiff School of Medicine to carry the iMAGINE vision into the future. We were also delighted to welcome back the original seed funders from CWEN (Creative Wales Exchange Network). Prof. Hamish Fyff and Dr. Richard Bromley. A wide range of possible funding sources were revealed in order to develop the aspirations of iMAGINE. CARIAD facilitated in providing feedback to CWEN of the projects development thus far, and looks forward to continuing this interesting collaboration into its next phase with both the iMAGINE team and CWEN.