‘Promoting Playfulness Amongst Older People’ OPAN RDG workshop 2 Swansea, Tapestri Building, 31th July 2013

DSC02210CARIAD enjoyed the second of its scoping workshops in Swansea today. Dr. Cathy Treadaway ran the second OPAN funded research development workshop for the ‘Making a Difference’ research project which is exploring the development of playful artefacts for people with dementia. The workshop was held in Swansea at the very welcoming Tapestri building. We brought together care providers, managers, occupational therapists and academics and included a presentation by Dr. David Prytherch, from User Lab at Birmingham City University, on haptic perception and dementia. http://www.bcu.ac.uk/biad/research.

Topics arising after the talk included: the difficulties faced in working in care homes; the stretches and pressures on care home workers; community engagement; perception of dementia in society; fiddling and making for makings sake; the relationship between sensory experience and instinct; and the ways the brain processes and understands reactions to sensory stimulus, all very interesting indeed, take a look at a clip here (https://vimeo.com/71807694). We closed the session discussing some of the technological possibilities. Thanks to everybody for making it such an insightful and interesting discussion full of potential! Looking forward to seeing you all at our next session.

Digital Stories at the Hollies School with the wonderful Glynis!

DSC02208CARIAD had a wonderful morning at the Hollies School in Cardiff today http://www.theholliesschool.co.uk/welcome.html . Wendy and Leah filmed Glynis Thomas who discussed the ways some of the kids are interacting with Somantics and Reactickles as part of the impact studies for the Shape project in Birmingham http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/education/shape/index.aspx
Glynis was part of CARIAD’s founding project and was the very first school to participate in Wendy’s work so she will always have a special place within CARIAD. It’s so lovely to be able to go back nearly ten years later and to see how things have moved on and to listen to Glynis expertise and understandings of the children’s personalities.
The sessions were carried out in the same way as Anthony’s last week,  and it seems the format is working. We are editing the videos together as we speak so watch this space for some amazing digital stories are coming your way!

A massive congradulations to Beverley she recieved a full PhD award to research Autism

‘A top Cardiff Met graduate and grandmother of two has secured full funding for further study’

CARIAD are very much looking forward to the opportunity to work with Beverley. Her research is set to contribute to some of CARIAD’s most established research projects into Autism. Beverley has already worked with Wendy and CARIAD is looking forward to continuing the relationship. Beverley is researching ASC couple relationship satisfaction, health and wellbeing, a very interesting and under researched area. Congratulations again Beverley!

Gesture-Based Interpretations: Video Analysis at trinity Fields School and Resource Centre Caerphilly

CARIAD had a very informative meeting with Anthony and Janet at Trinity fields School today. We met to watch videos of the children interacting with Somantics http://somantics.org/. Anthony is already undertaking pioneering work founding the PLC in Gesture-Based Technology group which is already having a huge impact in Schools in Wales. Take a look! http://kinectsen.wikispaces.com/ http://opensen.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/kinectsen-plc-exploring-gesture-based-technologies/

We showed some edited clips (the videos were also shot by the teachers) of the children exploring Somantics and asked the teachers to comment on what they saw. Key to the sessions was the teachers comfort to interpret the videos in their own time on their own terms without intervention or judgements. In this way the interpretations were able to flow without any pressure to provide ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ responses. The teacher’s perspectives, knowing each child’s personality and engagement profile provided essential contextual information of the ways the interactive apps are improving communication and well-being.

The sessions were also recorded on video (video link when ready) and this proved essential to capture the thick data sets which emerged and appear to be growing. This ranged from the entirely nuanced facial expressions of the teachers, happy to see the children engaging at such a high level, to explaining that a child saying ‘Orange’ in expectation of the next colour on the painting app, was the child’s first ever independent comment on the world. Other key factors were the children’s general behaviour and contentment at the times of filming which impacted upon understandings of their levels of engagement with the apps.

The sessions highlighted the levels and details of information contained in each small clip (which was no more than two minutes each) and the time necessary to spend deconstructing the data from filming the child, to editing and modes of analysis. This indicates that the videoing processes might facilitate some of the methods related to understanding young people with autism by slowing down and taking the time to understand with the children are telling us. CARIAD is looking forward to our next meeting on the 19th September 2013.

Material Matters Research Symposium 05th June 2013

DSC02160 A very informative end of term Symposium took place at Cardiff School of Management yesterday looking at the various ways material feature in research practice http://www.wirad.ac.uk/research-themes/digit/. Co-organiser and presented Cathy (CARIAD member) presented the latest findings of her Walk and Draw project, which is exploring the ways places effect the creative process and can enable sensations of subjective well-being, or as we like to say, happiness.

The findings are being applied to facilitate understandings of immigrant communicates in inner city areas and the ways they do/not feel connected to their local environment. Other presentations ranged from the ways the camel is depicted on tapestries in Israel to CARIAD member Leah discussing ways of capturing making in ceramic contemporary practice. Needless to say CARIAD was delighted to participate and is looking forward to seeing the students inspired by the event for the next term.

Making a Difference – ludic artefacts to promote playfulness.

DSC01556A massive congratulations to Dr. Cathy Treadaway who has just been awarded funding from OPAN (Older People & Ageing Research & Development Network) to scope the project ‘Making a Difference – ludic artefacts to promote playfulness.’ http://www.opanwales.org.uk/funding-sources-main-websites.htm

The purpose of the RDG is to scope a project to investigate how new technologies and smart materials can be used to extend individual experience of creative playful activity for the elderly. The project is already gaining momentum with our first workshop due to be held at Swansea University as a part of the OPAN ‘Coming of Age’ project on Friday the 31st of May.