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1 Projects, page 1 of 1
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/N009568/1
    Funder Contribution: 80,630 GBP

    Parlours of Wonder: imagining and designing multigenerational spaces of discovery, connection, meaning making and mystery This project builds on the success of the Tangible Memories research project, enabling our partners Alive! (a charity dedicated to improving the quality of life for older people in care by enabling their participation in meaningful activity) to continue to work with us to further embed the project outcomes in their practice and in care settings more widely. Community engagement is increasingly recognized by the care sector and commissioners as vital in tackling issues of social isolation in our older populations living in care settings. Together with Alive! we want to co-design engaging community spaces (parlours) where older people can interact with evocative objects and our app to record and share their memories and life histories. This will involve imagining and creating a new space of discovery, connection, meaning making and mystery, rather like the 'cabinets of curiosity' or 'wonder rooms' of old. Unlike cabinets of curiosity, our 'Parlours of Wonder' will not be designed and curated by us as arts and humanities researchers, artists/designers and computer scientists. Our vision is that these spaces will be co-curated by and for residents, care staff, families and community members. Care managers believe there is huge potential to use these Parlours of Wonder for community engagement where local school children, community groups and isolated older people will be encouraged to enjoy a cup of tea and a chat or a more formal encounter, sparking questions, connections, new interests or opportunities for contemplation. This project has been jointly conceived and developed with Alive!, with artists and with an extra care facility in which we have worked on the Tangible Memories Project. Funding from that research enabled us to co-design and to test our prototypes in the settings. We believe the prototypes, in particular our app, have huge potential to enhance opportunities for older people living in care homes to connect with those in their local community and therefore feel less socially isolated. We know that this will require a change of culture in many care settings and thus working closely with care staff to co-design new spaces of encounter in these settings is vital. This project builds on and further extend our excellent working relationships with Alive!, Blaise Weston Court (an extra care facility) and Hanover Housing, but will extend our activities to reach new groups including BrunelCare, the Britannia Centre (a day care facility) and Deerhurst (a large care home specializing in dementia work). It will also enable us to work closely with policy makers and other influencers to expand the local and national project reach.

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