newcastle, uk
august 30 & 31 2018

From designers to health professionals to carers. We welcome contributions from those who have projects to report on, stories to tell, or designs to share.

We are excited to invite submissions to the third Dementia Lab Event, to be held in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, between the 30th and 31st of August 2018. Since starting in 2016, the Dementia Lab Event has become an important venue that brings together researchers, professionals and people with personal experience of dementia to share stories and learning on issues related to design and dementia. For Dementia Lab Event 2018, as well as broadly exploring the role of design and the creative arts in relation to dementia, we are specifically focusing on issues of experience and participation

When we design for dementia, notions of experience and participation become particularly important. Paying attention to both of these might lead to the design of artefacts, technologies, services and environments that promote more positive lived experiences for people with dementia, or more participatory and engaging forms of care. Thinking explicitly about experience when we design things can lead to a greater appreciation of the richness and diversity of peoples lives, help us understand how people with dementia make sense of their experiences, and avoid focusing purely on people’s physical and cognitive capabilities. Participation and experience are also highly connected to each other. Much best practice surrounding design and dementia emphasizes the importance of involving people with dementia, their families and networks of care in design processes – in doing so we might create more sensitive and experientially appropriate designs. But even more critically, thinking explicitly about participation when designing means giving agency to people to have control over the environments they live in and the things they live with. Furthermore, it opens us up to approaches to care that are collaborative and cooperative in nature, occurring outside the formal structures of public and private care providers. 

In this third edition of the Dementia Lab Event, we invite contributions from anyone – be they a designer, a researcher, a health professional, someone living with dementia or caring for someone with the condition – who have projects to report on, stories to tell, or designs to share, that relate to design and dementia and the 2018 theme of experience and participation. Besides participant’s contributions, two keynote speakers will provoke, stir or respond to the submissions.

Types of contribution
If you are interested in contributing to Dementia Lab Event 2018, then you can submit three types of contribution: position papers, stories or exhibits (maximum 4 pages not including references, A4, 12pt Times New Roman font, single-spaced, 1-inch margins). Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Position papers that might report on: case studies of designing to support positive experiences for people with dementia; explorations of the notion of participation as it relates to designing for dementia; the role of creative arts and participatory techniques in designing for dementia; reflections on issues of participation, agency and control when designing within dementia care; examples of methods or techniques for understanding experience in dementia; examples of innovative methods and approaches to involving people in design in the context of dementia.

  • Stories that might tell us about: personal experiences of dementia, and how that has affected aspects of your life in relation to designed things; reflections on projects that led to unexpected outcomes or surprising insights; aspects of dementia projects or activities that worked well, or did not go as planned; or personal reflections on what experience and participation mean in relation to living with dementia or caring for someone.

  • Exhibits of designed artefacts, products, technologies or materials related to services that are designed to support the lives of people with dementia, their families or carers.

If accepted, authors of position papers and stories will be given scheduled presentation slots at the conference (10 minutes for position papers, 5 minutes for stories), while exhibits will be displayed for the duration with a dedicated slot during the event for attendees to interact with exhibition authors.

Please submit your paper to The submission deadline has been extended to May 1st, 2018. Notification of acceptance will follow in June 2018.

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