Call: MinD 2019: Designing with and for People with Dementia: Wellbeing, Empowerment and Happiness

Call for Papers

MinD 2019: Designing with and for People with Dementia: Wellbeing, Empowerment and Happiness
International Conference 2019 of the MinD consortium, the DRS Special Interest Group on Behaviour Change and the DRS Special Interest Group on Wellbeing and Happiness
19-20 September 2019
TU Dresden, Germany

Full paper submissions deadline: February 1, 2019

Conference organisers: Dr Christian Wlfel, Prof Kristina Niedderer, Dr Rebecca Cain, Dr Geke Ludden

Keynote speakers:

  • Dr Natalie Marchant, Alzheimers Society Senior Research Fellow, University College London, UK
  • Ir. Helma van den Berg-van Rijn, service designer at Muzus, The Netherlands
  • A member of the European Working Group of People with dementia – details tbc


MinD invites papers and design contributions for the first international MinD conference 2019 on Designing for People with Dementia.

The conference will provide a trans-disciplinary forum for researchers, practitioners, end-users and policy makers from the design and health care professions to exchange and discuss new findings, approaches and methods for using design to improve dementia care and to support people with dementia and their carers.

With ca. 10.9 million people affected by dementia in Europe, with numbers set to double by 2050 (Prince, Guerchet and Prina 2013), with 20 million carers, and with no cure in sight, research into care to improve the quality of life of people with dementia is essential, to encourage and enable them to engage in activities that are in line with their interests and experiences (Alcove 2013; Alzheimer’s Society 2013).

Characterised by progressive memory and cognitive degeneration, people who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias often face cognitive, behavioural and psychosocial difficulties, including impairment and degeneration of memory and of perceptions of identity (Alcove 2013). As a result, many have reduced physical activities or social engagement, or are unable to work. Emotionally, this can lead to uncertainty, anxiety and depression and a loss of sense of purpose.

In this light, it is becoming increasingly apparent that it is not just care that is required but support for how to live well with dementia, whether in the own home or in residential care. This includes managing one’s own care and every day tasks, as well as leisure activities, social engagement. Even small things such as whether and when to go out or what to wear can have important effects on people’s sense of self and wellbeing, contentment and happiness. Key to this is having choices and the ability to decide. Acknowledging the agency of people with dementia and understanding what can be done to support this is therefore a key question.

Design-based non-pharmacological interventions are increasingly recognised as having great potential to help. Design can offer novel ways of complementing care and independent living to empower people with dementia in everyday situations because of its ubiquitous nature and its affordances. Much focus has so far been on physical and cognitive tasks and on safe-keeping and reducing risks. For example, design can help accomplish physical tasks and offer guidance or reminders, e.g. for time or orientation, or alert to behavioural changes. While there are some approaches towards emotional and social aspects of living with dementia, more could and should be done to focus on enabling people with dementia and acknowledging their agency.

Design can help to support social, leisure, creative activities. It can help empower people with dementia offering choices and aiding decision-making. Design can support the individual person, or change the environment. This can take the form of a product, of systems or services, of the built or natural environment. The importance is to use design to help reduce stigma and exclusion, and instead to improve well-being and social inclusion to create happiness.

While the aims may be clear, the way to achieve them still raises many questions about the best approaches, ways and methods to achieve such aims. This conference therefore seeks to explore the manifold areas and approaches. This may include novel theoretical approaches, novel methods in design development or in working with and including end-users, or novel products, environments, services or systems. Or it may include novel ways of working, collaboration and co-operation. The key aim is to bring together and explore how we might impact positively and sustainably on the personal, social, cultural and economic factors within our communities to improve living with dementia.

To this end, we welcome a broad engagement with the field and invite submissions from a diverse range of researchers and practitioners from the various design and health disciplines, including product and interior design, craft, information and communication technologies, architecture and the built environment, psychiatry, psychology, geriatrics and others who make a relevant to the field.

Themes may include, for example:

  • Design approaches for the wellbeing/empowerment/happiness of elderly people
  • Design approaches for the wellbeing/empowerment/happiness of people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia
  • New design frameworks and approaches for wellbeing/empowerment/happiness
  • Mindful design approaches for wellbeing/empowerment/happiness
  • Collaboration between designers, technologists, health professionals and people with lived experience
  • Data collection with and by people with MCI/dementia
  • Co-design & co-creation with people with MCI/dementia
  • Evaluation of design with people with lived experience
  • Evaluation of the impact of design on people with lived experience


1 October 2018: Online submission opens
1 February 2019: Final date for full paper submissions
1 February 2019: Final date for Design proposal submissions
1 April 2019: Delegate registration opens
1 May 2019: Paper decision notifications
1 June 2019: Early bird registration closes
15 June 2019: Camera ready papers submission
15 August 2019: Late registration closes
19-20 September 2019: Conference


MinD 2019 welcomes contributions in two formats:

1) Full Papers

We invite the submission of full papers (3000-4000 words) by 1 February 2019.

Papers are expected to offer new or challenging views on the subject, novel approaches, working methods or design interventions or ideas, or similar.

Papers will be selected subject to a double blind review process by an international review team.  Paper will be reviewed for relevance/significance, novelty/originality, quality/rigour and clarity.

2) Design-based submissions

We invite the submission of designs in analogue or digital format, including e.g. physical artefacts, digital artefacts, films/video. Contributions are expected to offer new or challenging ideas, novel approaches, working methods or design interventions, or similar. Submissions will be exhibited during and as part of the conference.

In the first instance proposals should be submitted by 1 February 2019, including an image or visualisation and a verbal description of the design, and a 300 word statement of the underpinning research detailing its originality, significance and rigour.

Design submissions will be selected subject to a double blind review process by an international review team.  Submissions will be reviewed for relevance/significance, novelty/originality, and quality.

If selected, submissions are expected to arrive by the organisers by 15 August 2019, free of charge. Insurance is the responsibility of the author/designer.

Submission information:

All contributions must be submitted by 1 February 2019 at the latest through the conference submission system, which you can access from the conference pages.

Publication of conference submissions:

Paper submissions will in the first instance be published as online proceedings, archived in an open access repository with a DOI number, and also available as an abstract / programme booklet and memory stick with the proceedings.

In a second step, paper authors will be invited to submit their extended papers (6000-8000 words) for inclusion in a journal special issue. Available journals will be publicised on the conference website as soon as they are confirmed.

Design submissions will be included in the abstract booklet and published in an online-based catalogue accompanying the exhibition.



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