to top

Stigmas

Stigmas

Stigmas is a collection of furniture that embody issues relating to the physical, cognitive and attitudinal challenges older people face in everyday life. these critical artefacts do not present solutions but a series of considered questions that illuminate a landscape of old age.

Funded by : 
British Council

Partners:
Chang Gung University, Taiwan.
University of the third Age

Project team:
Paul Chamberlain

Design is as much about searching for the question as seeking the answer

Stigmas have been a feature of the engagingaging series of exhibitions.

The Stigma chairs won major prize in the ‘imagining chairs’ category of the ‘Art on Chairs’ international Design Competition (Parades Furniture Design Pole & Design Institute for Design, Media and Culture Research, Portugal). The chairs also features as an anchor point on the Art on Chairs exhibition, Parades , Portugal (2012) and Bilbao, Spain (2013), resulting in collaboration with furniture manufacturer Jose Fernando Loueiro Dos Santos Ltd to produce the chairs.

Stigmas were also exhibited at Insight2 :engaging the health humanities exhibition, University of Alberta, Canada (2013)

The engagingaging series of exhibitions has been hosted at a number of venues including: the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei; Building Centre, London; the Taipei Cultural Centre; and the SIA gallery, Sheffield, and underpins a collaborative project with Chang Gung University and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan (British Council PMI CONNECT funded).

The Stigma chairs won major prize in the ‘imagining chairs’ category of the ‘Art on Chairs’ international Design Competition (Parades Furniture Design Pole & Design Institute for Design, Media and Culture Research, Portugal).

engagingaging

engagingaging was a transnational programme of research that sought to understand the needs, preferences and aspirations of older people in order to inform the design of products and systems to support independence and wellbeing in later life.

Funded by : 
British Council

Partners:
Chang Gung University, Taiwan.
University of the third Age

Project team:
Paul Chamberlain – Team lead
Claire Craig

engagingaging was a transnational programme of research that sought to understand the needs, preferences and aspirations of older people in order to inform the design of products and systems to support independence and wellbeing in later life.

‘Engagingaging was a fresh approach and broke the rules on what we normally expect from an exhibition. It dealt with some difficult and controversial issues in a friendly and accessible way’
Curator museum of Contemporary Art , Taipei, Taiwan”.

The concept of ‘The Exhibition’ is embedded within the culture of Art & Design and has a long history as a form of ‘gathering’ to prompt discourse. This research explores the role of the exhibition as a ‘theatre for conversation’ and its role and format as a research tool as well as a means of dissemination.

The research is based on the principle of engaging users through a programme of workshops, integrated with the exhibition, to illicit a better understanding of user-needs, which in turn inform design activity. The enquiry was predicated on the premise that older people offer a valued resource and asset to families, communities and society.
The starting point of the research, funded by the British Council, was a comparison of the experiences of older people living in the United Kingdom and Taiwan.

Within the exhibition a collection of furniture entitled ‘Stigmas’ embodied issues relating to the physical, cognitive and attitudinal challenges older people face in everyday life. The critical artefacts did not present solutions but posed a series of considered questions that illuminated the landscape of old age.

The engagingaging series of exhibitions has been hosted at a number of venues including: the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei; Building Centre, London; the Taipei Cultural Centre; and the SIA gallery, Sheffield, and underpins a collaborative project with Chang Gung University and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan (British Council PMI CONNECT funded).

HOSPITAbLe

The challenges society faces in providing future healthcare suggests significant rethinking of the way health services are delivered and the way we engage with them. There is recognition that this is likely to demand more self-care and the shift of care from hospital to home.  This collection of objects explores implications of this shift in both the culture and practice of health interventions. 

Funded by:
NIHR CLARHC Yorkshire & Humber
Art & Design Research Centre

Partnered with
The Waag Society, Amsterdam; Gallerie UM, Prague

Project Lead: Paul Chamberlain

The home and hospital bring together very different cultural practices and environments, and the inexorable geographical shift in care has potential to impact on our physical and emotional relationship with our home space.

While professional care support within the home may be beneficial to the informal carer and care recipient, they also transgress the social space of the home and challenge its symbolic.

“The role of the designer
is that of a very good, thoughtful host anticipating the needs of his guests”.

Charles Eames

If we are to assume a greater uptake of healthcare at home to relieve pressures on current systems of delivery, we must not simply develop solutions and focus research within the narrow boundaries of healthcare. Solutions will only be successful if they fit with the complexity of our lives. Therefore there is value in taking everyday experiences as a starting point. This research draws on the value of thinking with things through physical metaphors, engaging people in meaningful ways to elicit their understanding. 

Theatrum Anatomicum, WAAG Society, Amsterdam

“The things we use and make (technologies) are not neutral objects but embodiments of ourselves and cultural values. Where a disconnect between the technology and these cultural values emerge this impacts on the individuals relationship with the world”.

Greenhalgh

The HOSPITAbLe collection reflects upon and imagines an ambiguous future domestic landscape that presents hybrid functionality and a confused visual language and soundscape. A transient world of semi-alien and alien objects that not only challenge trust, but prohibit control and access. New objects defined by emerging technologies that at times attempt to hide and camouflage. The definers and providers of these future objects being ever more concerned with our health and safety, nudging us into behavioural change but fearful of litigation. An interconnected landscape within which access to health data and information is ubiquitous, incomplete and confusing. Objects that help, support, betray and confront our own mortality

“The invasion of illness- related technology into the home has the potential to destroy the nurturing and therapeutic environment of home as a means of promoting health recovery.”

Gardner

The HOSPITAbLe Collection was exhibited in 2017 at The historic Anatomical Theatre at the Waag Society, Amsterdam, the UMPRUM Gallery Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, Prague, and the Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh. In 2018 the collection was exhibited at the Yorkshire Artspace Gallery, Sheffield and at the NIHR Health Services Research UK conference, Nottingham.

A booklet to accompany the exhibition is available here.