‘Warm place’, is an area in the care home where dementia patients can go to feel warmth. Because sensory skills increase while cognitive skills diminish, people with dementia are able to completely focus on the sensory experience and savour the pleasant feeling of warmth in a loop. The caregiver can initiate this loop by bringing the caretaker to the warm place, or the caretaker is triggered by the warmth which starts the loop. The main emotions that will be triggered are relaxation when the user warms up, satisfaction once the need for warmth has been fulfilled, and joy by experiencing the pleasant feeling of warmth. It can also trigger enchantment when the user experiences the warmth as overwhelmingly pleasant and gets completely carried away, which is our intention for dementia patients. The warm place should be part of the care home and uses the central heating system to give people a pleasurable experience and heat the room at the same time. We developed two prototypes for this concept. The first installation allows dementia patients to warm their hands through playing with rice. The warmth comes from within the rice as this has been heated up, which invites the user to completely engage with the rice and focus on play. The second installation is a lamp where dementia patients can go to warm themselves and interact with other people. The prototype was inspired by a campfire, where people can gather around to get warm and do social activities. This inspiration can also be seen in the shape of the lamp, which is smaller on the top to enable people to interact with each other while warming their hands around the object.
Designers: Jacqueline Nanne, Sylvie Claes, Lezhi Su,
Period: February 2016 - April 2016