In March, the MinD project had two parallel secondment visits, one at Fundacion INTRAS in Spain, and one at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, Australia. The two secondments are the last in the series of secondments dedicated particularly to the data collection with people with dementia.
Researchers of the two secondment worked hand in hand: MinD colleagues at INTRAS in Spain worked on interview coding and collected the visual diaries. They sent anonymised, digitised versions of the diaries to MinD colleagues working for a month at Queensland University of Technology to analyse the diaries from all three countries involved in the data collection (Germany, The Netherlands, Spain). Reading the interviews and diaries, it was clear that people with dementia find it important to be still useful in their setting and active during the day. Their social networks are a really important support for them, including family, caregivers and friends who are the main point of reference in their life. A workshop on music therapy attended by researchers at INTRAS highlighted the importance of self-realisation for people with dementia.
Researchers at QUT participated in an International Symposium on ‘Designing for Dementia’ organised by the hosts at QUT during the secondment. The symposium was a great success with 9 international speakers, including the MinD team, other colleagues from QUT, from Sydney and the UK, and from Canada. Speakers presented work, results and insights into various aspects around designing, ethics, methodology and environmental considerations and support available for people with dementia. The symposium was attended by approx. 170 delegates, many from professional backgrounds (architects, formal and informal carers and care professional), which made for a great audience lively and enlightening discussions, and which highlighted progress in the area of the presented work as well as much need for further research. The MinD researchers at QUT also presented the MinD project work to a group of about 40 final year design students who were very much interested in some of the methodological and conceptual aspects of the work.