What started off as a one-off research project has become an international platform for discussing dementia and design.

Professor John Vines

I’m a designer by background, and most of my current research is located in the fields of human-computer interaction (HCI) and participatory design.

My research focuses on the study of how people experience, appropriate and use digital technologies in their everyday lives. I often take a research through design approach, which for me involves designing new digital prototypes, artefacts and “things” with citizens, and studying the creation and use of these prototypes to generate knowledge that is both valuable to designers and advances our understanding of social phenomena. I am specifically interested in how technology is interwoven with issues such as independence and agency in later life, could support informal and relational care for people of all ages, and might help scaffold “friendly” and “caring” communities. I also have experience and ongoing interests in human experience and technology design as it relates to self-care, trust, security and empathic communication. Generally, I’m intrigued by the ways in which digital technologies might support new interactions and engagements between people in relation to these issues, rather than be used to replace human contact (as is often the case).

I am currently working on a range of projects involving the design of technologies with communities, examining issues (among others) such as social isolation among carers, intergenerational conversation around dementia, advice and information sharing in health support groups, advocacy and the measuring of outcomes in charities, and community decision making around care services. More details can be found on my personal website: www.johnvines.eu


Dr. Kellie Morrissey

My background is in Applied Psychology but I’ve been working in Human-Computer Interaction since my PhD, where I worked within under-resourced nursing homes in the south of Ireland to explore the potential for digital musical interactions to create opportunities for performing, connecting with one another, and belonging in community. I’m now a Newcastle University Research Fellow at Open Lab, where I lead the Digital Social Care theme. My main interests are now in participatory digital approaches to engaging people with dementia in meaningful activities, with a secondary interest in improving women’s access to appropriate and high-quality reproductive services.

I’m currently engaged in projects concerning the following:

  • Exploring the design of tailored virtual reality experiences in dementia

  • Experience-centred approaches to designing for personhood and ongoingness at the end of life

  • Engaging young people in intergenerational exchanges with people living with dementia

  • Creative approaches to fostering dialogue in the abortion rights movement in Ireland

  • Relational approaches to understanding the experiences of women undergoing menopause

  • Scaffolding online design processes for digitally-connected

You can see a bit more of what I’m up to on Twitter: @kelliemorrissey.



Six years ago the organisers of this event, Andrea Wilkinson and Niels Hendriks were involved in a project that focused on designing together with and for persons with dementia. What started as an 'interesting challenge' quickly became quite a complex task.  The lessons learned from this initial and following design projects have been used as a starting for an educational course for master students product, graphic and interaction design and masters in animation and film making. From a one-time experiment in a care facility, this course module evolved into a solid, but still very experimental education module focussing on designing for and together with persons with dementia. You can read more about their design practice at: www.dementialab.com  and in the 2016 Dementia Lab Event publication.


Robert Bosch Stiftung
The Robert Bosch Stiftung has an ongoing interest in healthy ageing in general, and dementia more specific (http://www.bosch-stiftung.de/content/language2/html/healthy-ageing.asp). They support a variety of projects in- and outside of Germany trying to tackle this topic. Their interest in supporting this event comes from the aspiration to re-new the interest in designing for and together with persons with dementia in design education and practice. 

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