Project Tours
Fostering Self-Directed Play Through Aesthetic Inquiry in Dementia Memory Care

  • What this is

    Project Tours give a look inside projects with tours led by the designers who created them.

  • When & Where

    • Sep 24: 2pm

  • Tags

    Furniture, Research, Craft
Project Tours
Fostering Self-Directed Play Through Aesthetic Inquiry in Dementia Memory Care

People with dementia tend to rely on instinct and environmental sensory triggers to confirm where and who they are, yet these ties are disrupted when a diagnosed individual moves from home to a residential memory care community. These settings can be unfamiliar, and often missing are not only tangible ways to feel at home but also opportunities for residents to extend beyond a search for solid ground.

In this virtual talk, artist and design researcher Alicia Valencia will present approaches to co-create meaningful and enriching settings with dementia care residents. The presentation will begin with a display of recent work completed at Silverado Memory Care Community, an in-patient memory care facility in Escondido, CA, where Alicia’s father lived for two years.The presentation will highlight new ways to envision creativity and thriving in long-term memory care and pathways for conceptualizing new therapeutic directions in dementia care that incorporate self-directed play.

About the host

Alicia Valencia

Alicia is a furniture maker and researcher from San Diego working across public art, object design, healthcare, and education. Within her practice, Alicia is concerned with providing opportunities for thriving and play in healthcare spaces, and investigates the environmental and psychological impacts of products on human development. Currently, Alicia works as a research fellow in the Health Design Innovations Lab at Cornell University, examining caregiving environments for older adults with cognitive impairment. She received a BFA in Furniture Design from RISD, an ScB in Psychology from Brown University, and a Master of Design Studies from Harvard Graduate School of Design.