Memy

creating moments for people
with dementia and their family

overview

Type:

Elective: Design for Social Innovation

challenge:

Using the Transformative Practices Design Innovation process for Social Innovation.

Concept:

MEMY is a connecting tool to establish and maintain an intimate relationship between a family member and a person living with Dementia.

role:

Programming with Arduino, soldering, editing the process videos and making concept decisions based on own experience with my grandmother.

Clients:

DesignHuis, Vitales Woonzorg groep, Gemeente Eindhoven, Strategy of Change, Eramus+ Programme

competencies:

Creativity & Aesthetics, Technology & Realization, User & Society

Explanation

MEMY is a connecting tool to establish and maintain an intimate relationship between
a family member and a person living with Dementia. It is based on the well-known memory game, however MEMY does not require cognitive skills to participate in. It uses
expressivity and sensorial elements to invite playful interactions. Both people can explore the cushion modules and touch the fabrics. When matching elements are found, subtle feedback is given by vibration.

Reflection

Key learning points: embodiement, transformative practices

The project became a portfolio worthy design that is a lot different than my current projects, which are mostly 2D and non-technical and thus is a particular nice contribution to show a broad set of skills. I have confidence that our final design, already could benefit the patients and family in the improvement of their relationship. After the course, Laura continued the project for her FMP. I invited her to test the final prototype with my grandmother so I could experience the design for the person I had in mind the entire process. The product worked great and my grandmother really felt engaged with the group and we could collaborate. This is quite exceptional given she hard 3-4th stage dementia, meaning she normally barely responds. Based on my own experience, it became much easier to design for the target group. My focus within the team was on the programming, soldering, editing the process videos and making realistic decisions. For me, it was nice to create a physical product that requires electronics, since within my masters I didn’t have to chance to do so. I surprised myself since I was able to code the entire functionality of the product in one go, without having to debug a lot and without having the sensors and motors hooked-up. That allowed us to work parallel to the soldering of the motors and the testing of the sensors. The course taught me to move fast and make decisions since after every week you had to present your findings. The course was quite intense but with different skills within our team allowed us to have a successful outcome in just 6 weeks. I used the process within my FMP because I particularly liked the communicating aspect of the process.