Open event: 7 March, Tangible Memories – Community in care through storytelling

Network member Shari Sabeti has organised the following event, which you are welcome to attend.

Tangible Memories – Community in care through storytelling

Speaker: Dr Helen Manchester, School of Education, University of Bristol

Date/Time: Tuesday 7 March 2017, 12:30 – 2pm

Venue: 1.19 Paterson’s Land, Moray House School of Education

Abstract: The digital transformations of the last few decades are leaving behind many older adults who, for reasons ranging from accessibility issues to work biographies to personal preference, are less likely to engage with digital technologies. At the same time discourse and practice around the design of technologies for those in later life foregrounds the biological over the personal, social and cultural needs of older people, tending to highlight aspects of surveillance and/or the need for ‘assistive’ technologies to help older people struggling with failing bodies or the physical demands of living at home. The AHRC funded project, Tangible Memories, adopted a different approach – designing technologies to support the personal and social lives of older adults living in care homes. The project explored the potential of tangible user interfaces to enable storytelling with older adults to increase ‘community’ in care home settings. Adopting a bricolage of theoretical lenses, including critical narrative learning (Goodson and Gill, 2014) and sociomaterial approaches, this paper explores the absences and presences that the older adults worked with, across space/time and human/non human elements, in making sense of, and sharing, their lives lived in embodied and material ways. The paper suggests new approaches to designing innovative technologies with older adults that decrease aspects of social isolation often experienced in care home settings.

Bio: Helen Manchester is Senior Lecturer in Educational and Social Futures at the University of Bristol. She specialises in conducting participatory, co-produced research with community and voluntary organisations and cultural institutions. She is interested in learning futures,urban learning and digital cultures. Helen is currently working on a variety of projects around the theme of urban/civic learning and smart technologies, including the REPLICATE project, funded by Horizon 2020. Helen has led a variety of research projects including 2 AHRC funded research projects. ‘Teenage Kicks’ which explored young people’s take on cultural value as part of the AHRC Cultural Value programme and Tangible memories: Community in Care funded by the AHRC Digital Transformations and Connected Communities Capital fund. This was an interdisciplinary project (working with computer scientists, artists and historians) exploring older peoples’ material memories, storytelling and technology co-design in care home settings. Helen has previously worked as a teacher in schools across Greater Manchester (1993 – 1999) and as a university lecturer and researcher Previous research projects have included: ‘Youth Voice in the work of Creative Partnerships’ (2007-2009); ‘Creativity, Creative Partnerships and school ethos’ (2009- 2011), and ‘Mapping learning lives’, funded by the BBC, a project exploring the potential for people to act as curators of their own learning lives.

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