WP2: Mindful Design Framework – Year 2

Semi-annual update 3 – August 2017

Between March and August 2017, the MinD project dealt with the data analysis and interpretation and the beginning of the design development. The mindfulness thinking developed during the first year of MinD underpinned the analysis as well as the discussions concerning the design focus and analysis. The discussions on mindfulness were consolidated in two papers which have been submitted in March and August respectively.

The first paper (WP2, currently under review) deals with the development of a theoretical framework for embedding mindfulness in dementia care through design. The paper reviews key issues concerning psychosocial aspects of dementia and how these are addressed through non-pharmacological interventions, and their relation and reliance on design in many cases. The review identifies the need for more focus on psychosocial aspects and introduces mindfulness as a useful tool. It distinguishes 5 different ways in which design can support mindfulness and mindfulness practices. It offers an overview of these to make them accessible to designers, people with dementia and their carers, health care staff and clinicians to enable them to better understand and choose any supporting designs and devices for their use.

The second paper (WP4 – accepted for the IASDR conference 2017) embeds mindfulness thinking in design practice in the form of mindful co-design. It reports on the development of a mindful interdisciplinary design methodology in the context of the MinD project research into designing for and with people with dementia, which takes the particular focus on supporting the subjective well-being and self-empowerment of people with early to mid stage dementia in social context. It discussed the design methodological framework and methods developed for the data collection and design development phases of the MinD project, and their rationale as well as the underpinning mindful criteria.

The next important step, for the next six months to work on is the consolidation of the mindful design thinking for the design decision making and development.

Semi-annual update 4 – March 2018

Between September 2017 and February 2018, mindfulness thinking has contributed to two key activities of the MinD project: the design ideation, and feedback sessions on the design ideas by people with dementia through Public and Patient Involvement groups as well as carers and dementia care experts.

The design ideation has been guided by mindfulness values developed in our first paper for WP2, including aspirations of mindfulness, such as empowerment and wellbeing, as well as mechanisms of mindfulness, such as awareness and attentiveness, choice and decision making opportunities and processes.

These values have guided our designers’ thinking during two design secondments in September 2017 in Germany and in Barcelona. They have provided guidance of how to respond to the needs of people with dementia regarding empowerment and social engagement, more specifically of what to design, and of what help the designs might offer to people with dementia, and of how designs should do so, i.e. how they might work for the person with dementia.

These values have also guided our evaluation sessions through appreciating the participants’ expert status, offering ways to empower them. Three PPI sessions with a total of 17 participants, including people with dementia, carers and dementia care experts, were conducted in Germany, Barcelona and the UK. In the sessions, designers presented their design ideas, inviting participants to provide feedback and to help with the decision making process.

A further paper on the specific mindfulness values and criteria used in the design and co-design process of the MinD project is in preparation.