MinD Design visit in Barcelona – June 2017

Participants from University of Wolverhampton (UK), University of Twente (NL), University of Dresden (GER), and Panton design agency (NL) were hosted by Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) and PICH architects, both Barcelona-based.
During this visit, the team worked (together with our hosts) on developing mindful design topics and concepts based on the design themes developed during the previous visit in Luxemburg. Lots of hours of brainstorming resulted in a matrix linking issues and challenges which people with dementia face (for instance, issues with person recognition or difficulties in emotion expression) to initial design concepts which may remedy or alleviate these problems.
Importantly, these challenges follow from the qualitative data collected from people with dementia and carers throughout the first year of MinD, and which were analysed during previous visits. At the end of our Barcelona visit, 30 out of 72 concepts were deemed promising and were further grouped to provide 6 concepts to further work on. Notably, it was here that, in addition to product and service designs, environmental concepts (co-inspired by our host PICH architects) saw the light of day. This process of grouping, refining, and working out to detail will continue during the next visits, starting with the one in the Netherlands next week.
In addition to brainstorming, this Barcelona visit comprised presentations, visits and demonstrations organized by our new partner (UPC). Interestingly, these covered the whole range from existing (lo-tech) solutions for problems people with disabilities face to hi-tech robots assisting people in daily life and rehabilitation.