The tragedy of dementia is about memories. The distorted reality of present and past. That is what this impressive interactive audio-visual installation is about. The project, called Remember the Person, is from the British interaction designer David Ingledow.
The idea is to make an environment to raise awareness for, and stop the social stigma that comes from being diagnosed with Dementia. It makes the user think that they should not back away and fear Dementia.
It is based on David’s personal experience. His grandma suffers from Dementia and has been in care for many years now.
Using an Arduino, when the user moves closer to the projection, the photographs from his grandma’s photo albums will be shown. These photos are memories from her point of view and represent her life.
David: “When the user moves quickly, the music becomes a distraction and the pictures change erratically. This is to represent people’s fears and unwillingness to listen to and understand Dementia sufferers. It therefore represents people’s negative stereotypes of Dementia sufferers. When the user moves slowly, they can focus on the timeline of pictures and what is being said in the monologues.”
What this project really makes so interesting is the interactive part.
David: “The user can then use the imagery of the nostalgic photos of my Grandma and the stories in the monologues to create their own unique emotional experience by using their past life experiences to make connections between the sound and visuals.
This focusses the user on remembering the person, where the person could be someone that they construct mentally, making the experience unique and emotionally engaging.”
The video above is the personal experience of David. It is still a prototype. I’m very curious how this technique can be used on a wider scale.
David Clegg from the Trebus Project supplied the audio of the monologues. Their aim is to capture the memories and insights of people with dementia before their words are lost to history.
The Trebus project is something we definitely going to write about in the future.
Related post with work from David Ingledow:
– Amnesty International Troy Davis Campaign Animation