#inclusivedesign #wellbeing #accessibility
As a daily activity throughout our adult lives, cooking is largely automatic. Stirring, pouring, grinding, kneading, sprinkling; our hands know what to do. This is known as procedural memory and is the last to slip away in people suffering from Alzheimer’s. I call on these ingrained practices in Moving Memories, a set of playful, intuitive tools, that mimic familiar specific movements in cooking, stimulating the senses and encouraging curiosity.
Unlike real kitchen utensils, there is no wrong way to handle them. In a world that has become confusing and foreign for these patients, this movements are comforting in their familiarity.
In our ageing society where Alzheimer’s is spreading, I want to give an autonomous pleasant and easy occupation that can release these patients from stress. I chose this aesthetic because dignity is important for their family who already have a hard time accepting the disease and don’t need to see their parents playing with toys for kids.
For this project I went several times to a nursing home (Eerdbrand Archipel in Eindhoven) where I could try her models with different patients. I noticed the enthusiasm and interest of people who have restless hands, a typical symptom of the disease. They would explore the tactility and characteristics of each objects as well as trying to assemble them or organise them, stimulating movements and memories.
Cover photograph by Femke Rijerman.