A design-led inquiry into personhood in dementia

Jayne Wallace, Peter Wright, John McCarthy, David Green, James Thomas, Patrick Olivier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)


Writers and practitioners in dementia care have invoked personhood to offer potential for preserving the agency of people living with dementia. In this context we use personhood to explore how relationships bring agentive potential to experience-centered design through a cocreative, design-led inquiry with Gillian, a woman living with dementia, and John her husband. We designed bespoke probes to empathically engage the couple in the design of both jewellery and digital jewellery to support Gillian's personhood. Our design activity addressed the relationships involved in the context of Gillian's family life and the progression of her illness and how they could be mediated technologically. Reminiscence became, through Gillian and John's own hands, acts of sense making and legacy. The process of design became the way of conducting the inquiry and the designed artifacts became ways of posing questions to make sense of our experiences together.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI '13 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Print)9781450318990
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventCHI 2013 :31st annual CHI conference on human factors in computing systems - Paris
Duration: 1 Jan 2013 → …


ConferenceCHI 2013 :31st annual CHI conference on human factors in computing systems
Period1/01/13 → …


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