WP2: Mindful Design Framework – Year 1

Semi-annual update – September 2016

Work package 2 (WP2) comprises the development of the mindful framework for the MinD project and runs parallel with its three phases (data collection, design development, evaluation). The first three secondments of the MinD project during May, June and September 2016 were essential for developing the overarching mindful framework approach for application and integration into the dementia care and design development phases.

A number of presentations and workshops on mindfulness approaches in psychology and design, which draw on both Eastern meditation based and Western cognitive mindfulness approaches (e.g. by J. Kabat-Zinn and by E. Langer), provided the basis for discussion and for a shared understanding of how to integrate these two approaches in a dementia care context, and how design can become a tool for incorporating mindfulness in this context.

The discussions and workshops identified key criteria of mindfulness, such as empowerment, decision-making, choice and subjective well-being as well as the taking into account different perspectives and contexts. The discussions were led by Niedderer, Coleston and Tournier, and included all other team members participating in the three exchanges as well as members from dementia outreach teams. The criteria were used to develop and are reflected in the data collection materials for WP3: Data Collection, including schedules for focus group interviews with people with dementia and their carers, for individual interviews with people with dementia and their carers, and for visual diaries to be completed by people with dementia.

WP2 – Semi-annual update – February 2017

Between September 2016 and February 2017, the main part of the data collection was conducted, and the design phase started with considerations about how best to take a mindful design approach within the dementia care context. Through intense discussions and a number of workshops with the design partners, the team started to develop a mindful design framework for the analysis, idea generation, and co-development of the design phase.

The key focus in the framework development was on what approaches to mindfulness would be suitable in the dementia care context, what values these approaches infer, how these approaches can be used to understand the data collected in Phase 1 (Data collection) to identify situations for potential interventions, what shape such interventions could take to embed mindfulness in the designs, and how people with dementia can be included in the design process (co-design methodology) through Public and patient Involvement (PPI) processes.

The MinD symposium in December 2016, where the mindful framework was introduced for public discussion, already hinted also at important issues for the evaluation of qualitative data, which will be further discussed at a workshop on ‘soft evaluation’ in October 2017 at the University of Wolverhampton.

The team is currently working on two publications that will set out the basis of the framework and how it informs the data collection and the later design development.