Live Blog

We would like to thank everyone who took part in the event


The judges made their decisions and the happy winners are…

Award for Best Project:
Award for Best Implementation:
Award for Best Design
Award for Most Provocative Concept:
People’s Choice Award:

Many thanks again to Tom Nappey for designing these awards and to Metro Repro, who kindly gave us a huge discount on the prints!!!


While the judges decide, check out the feedback on your projects:



Time for the judges to come together!


Last up: Team TIMEBOMB, who chose their team name to reflect the negative image that the press often portrays about dementia. To create an opposing picture, they were thinking about the positive aspects about dementia. The team was wondering  about questions such as: what we can learn from people with dementia? How can we disrupt the caregiving/ cared-for relationship? And how can we focus on the no(rather than to reminiscence a bout the past)? They came up with the concept of the CALM BOX, which is a tangible box that is intended to contain an activity (e.g. knitting) that the person can suggest and invite others to join in (either participating in person or virtually). The team envisions this to enable the person with dementia to cooperate and engage with another person in the here and now.


The Crooked Stars take the stage: The team introduces their provocative idea of the Discombobulator that simulates a person with dementia by intentionally creating situations intended to surprise or irritate the person. They present various examples of day-to-day activities to simulate the challenges that people with dementia encounter. In their first example, they focused on making the person feel disorientated, and to create feelings of discomfort or anxiety by presenting them with location information that they struggled to make sense of.  Another example is the cooking task, where the person gets a list of ingredients to help them cook, however, the name of the ingredients  randomly change into a language that the person cannot comprehend, which creates frustration. In the example presented, this led the person give up on the cooking task entirely. A prototype phone-based application is presented. The concept based on a persona called Agnes.


The Confabulators are now pitching their project: They present their design concept of how music can be or create an interactive and embodied activity to support shared experiences in dementia care . Music and dance involves proximity, peoples’ presence and also physical closeness such as holding hands.  They were also looking to enable activities that are playful and fun, that people can opt in, and that are aesthetic (by designing nice and easy to hold instruments).   They close their pitch with a life demonstration of their physical prototype  instruments, that change color with the beat and rhythm of the song. For this, five people with four prototype controllers need to sit next to each other, and, holding hands, they swing the controllers to the rhythm of the song. The controllers change color accordingly. Brilliant stage performance!


Team Sonar is now on stage, introducing their idea to return control to people with dementia by giving other people as sense of what it is like to be tracked at all times (e.g. by tracking the carers). They took inspiration from the Harry Potter clock in developing afinity, a platform that encourages communication between the care giver and the care receiver. This system involves an ambient display disguised as a clock (situated in the home of the person with dementia) and mobile devices. When the clock is touched, the person with dementia appears at the center of the screen, with people related to the person being displayed around them. The person with Dementia can click on the faces of the other people to send them a prompt that gets shown as a notification on their phones, offering the opportunity to communicate with the persona that they care for. Moreover, there are opportunities for quantifying care by giving carers feedback for instance on how much time they spend with the person.


Time for the team pitch by MY MEMORY MATTERS M3: This team was turning dementia on its head, by not thinking about what they can do for the people with Dementia, but what people with dementia can do for them.  Especially they were thinking about how they can support a sense of dignity, personhood, social interaction and citizenship. In this regard they demonstrate their website Memory Lane,  where individuals can share their personal interests and memories of the community with the community; because in the end: All memories matter.


Next up: GiFT, who present their project as a wish for a simple way to send a report of activities that took place in day center home to the carers. Specifically, the team is  aiming to bridge the gap between professional care giving and family care giving; to provoke further insight, and to support the relationship of care. In this regard, they explore the use of audio, some of which is recorded by care workers at the day center via a smartphone (during their usual activities), and these can then be listened to via a personal radio station in the person’s own home. The idea is thus to be experiencing the happenings during the day together at home in the evenings. The team presents a mobile phone application and an example audio track at the end of their pitch.


Time for the Project pitches!

First-up: Codes and Nodes CAN, who introduce voice4dementia. Their concept unfolds around the idea to generate a community of best practice where people share their personal video experiences . Their system is implemented in Python.  They close their presentation with a system demo: a website that they will make open source at the end of the day for other people to build on.


Lunch’o’clock… the clock is ticking.


Time to start preparing your project pitches!!!


Coffee refill arrived!


The countdown started…



The order of pitches is out:



Back on the task:



Freshening up with coffee & breakfast baps.



Coming back to life.

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Some teams went to bed, many are still up and keep creating. Let this be a productive night!!!


Time for some late night snacks & refreshments …


Things are starting to take shape:

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Night at the museum:




Evening push: Let the development commence…

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Hot dinner served: Enjoying lasagne, pizza and chilli.


All seven teams introduced their initial concepts. Lots of promising ideas, can’t wait to see what they are going to create from these!!!


How are we doing? Project pitches to start in 30 minutes


Let the making begin!

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Quick break for coffee, tea & biscuits 🙂


Everyone is mingling: time to form a team!


Dr Claire Craig takes the stage reminding us that dementia is an umbrella term for a variety of conditions:  Vascular dementia, Alzheimers, etc.. She explains how these different types of the diseases progress differently over time (vascular dementia  deteriorates stepwise, Alzheimers gradually) and come with a wide range of different symptoms including amongst others: memory loss, hallucination and anxiety, language difficulties, low mood and depression,  the ability to abstract and make sense of one’s environment and understand design; loss of competence which often relates to social isolation, stigma, etc.

What does dementia mean in terms of identity: who am I? What happens if one’s relationships with others break down? How does dementia impact on peoples’ lives? What is meaningful for people and how can design and technology to reconnect or rediscover meaning and to re-invent ourselves? What are things that people with dementia would want to engage with? What do they value and how can we (and technology) help them uncover meaning?



Dr Mike Craven  explains how to live well with dementia and introduces different areas of how we can contribute to and increase peoples’ quality of life. He also presents various ways in which technology for people with dementia can be classified. For example, he talks about different generations of technologies that range from telecare (alarms, pulls cards), to memory aids, and now communication and smartphone applications.

He brings particular emphasis to the importance of music , the potential of sensors (perhaps for early diagnosis), and affective feedback. He closes his talk suggesting that we should focus on peoples’ aspirations and not just basic (and often medical care) needs.



Prof. Andrew Monk introduces a variety of voice messaging tools used to record messages and alarms as reminder technologies for people with dementia; he also shows tools that are intended to assist the person to find things, like beeper tags as well as more sophisticated systems such as telecare, presenting ‘personal radio triggers’ or the ‘carephone’ that have been around for about 20 years. He further presents sensor technologies at doors to detect wondering behaviors that would cause alarms.

There are many different contexts in which a person with dementia can find themselves in. Who are we designing for: care professionals, formal or informal carers, worried family members or the person with dementia? What sort of help do we want to provide: medication, safe walking, cooking, orientation etc.?

Andrew suggests taking a look the AT Dementia website, especially at the discussion section.



Dr. Stephen Lindsay discusses how we talk about dementia every day. As a topic it is  covered in the news daily. This often gives us the feeling that we understand the problems of the people who live with dementia; however this is not the case. Stephen emphasizes the importance (especially as computing scientists) to talk to the people who care for people with dementia and to think really carefully how we can use digital technology to make a meaningful difference to peoples lives rather than simply to translate or replace existing methods. He gives the example of a reminder device, which can be a tablet PC that might require quite considerable time to learn to master, or simply pen & paper to write things down. Finally, he emphasizes the role of design and the importance of the aesthetics of technology devices with a view on making the person feel good about themselves rather than to foreground their difficulties. Think about the person and try to help them improve their quality of life!



Dave Stevens introduces DementiaCare and invites all attendees to do the star exercise (you have to draw on the star only looking into the mirror) to help us understand how difficult everyday tasks can feel for people with dementia:

…No cheating allowed!!!



It’s lunch time, time to get to know each other and find team mates!


Getting ready for the event: Registration is now openbadges