What was the MinD project?
We were a group of researchers, health experts and designers from several countries across Europe. MinD was an exciting project to imagine and develop new designs to enable people living with dementia to be more confident and empowered. We used the concept of mindful design and we were especially interested in helping to promote social interaction and how the environment influences social engagement. The MinD project was funded by the European Commission for four years, ending in February 2020.
What is mindful design?
Mindfulness is used in psychology to describe bringing your attention to your experience and sensations in the present moment. It is used as a basis for psychological treatment. However, we also think that designing items, such as textiles or furnishings that consider life ‘in the moment’ may be important to promote health and well-being.
Why are we so interested in social interaction and social engagement?
People who live with dementia often have issues that affect their social life, for example memory loss or lack of confidence. This is worrying since well-being and life satisfaction are closely linked to social activities. We also know that people living with dementia are often not consulted about their needs and what would improve their daily life. Therefore a project that looks at design and how it can affect social interaction, and involves people with dementia throughout the design process is really important.
What did the MinD project do?
The project had 3 phases. First, we collected various sorts of information (for example, from interviews and special diaries) from people living with dementia and their caregivers in four European countries. Second, we developed plans for new products that were based on what we learned in the first phase. Third, we tested and evaluated the newly developed products, helped by people with dementia and their carers.
Read more about the organisations that helped us.
If you are interested in this project and its results, please contact the partner in your country of interest:
- UK – Prof Kristina Niedderer at the Manchester Metropolitan University
- Germany – Dr Vjera Holthoff-Detto at Alexianer Kliniker Berlin
- Spain – Dr Rosa Almeida at Fundacion Intras
- Netherlands – Dr Geke Ludden at Universiteit Twente
For more information on dementia, please visit the Alzheimer Europe Website.