Paper CUMULUS Borderline
You can download the paper ‘Not quite 100’. A description of design with people with schizophrenic symptoms that we presented at the Cumulus Conference in Genk here.
‘NotQuite100’ in Het Nieuwsblad
An article about Not Quite 100 was published in the newspaper Het Nieuwsblad on Februari 16th 2010: http://www.nieuwsblad.be/article/detail.aspx?articleid=R72M9PS3
Workshop Cultural Probes
In May we did a workshop on the use of Cultural Probes in design research for our colleagues of the research group Social Spaces.
Although Cultural Probes have become an umbrella term, they prove a useful point of departure for discussing design research and the adaptation of methods from human centred sciences in design. While we believe experimentation with methods is essential for design research to grow but also emphasizes the need for a shared vocabulary and debate within the design community we discussed the use of Probes in Not Quite 100: what actually happened, some of the problems encountered, and some of the results, and maybe provide valuable insights for other design research designs within our Social Spaces group.
Not Quite 100: process
In ‘Not quite 100′ we worked with caregivers and people with schizophrenia in twelve psychiatric wards. To get a broad view, the included living environments are an observation and a rehabilitation ward, sheltered housing, a psychiatric care home, a day-care hospital and a sheltered workplace. For the design research we choose Cultural Probes because of their advantages considering the condition of schizophrenia. Cultural Probes are a specially designed collection of engaging and challenging assignments, physical objects and tasks, using creative ways to elicit responses from people about their everyday life. The Probes are dropped in the respondent’s living environment and returned to the designer after a while (Gaver et al., 1999). For the development of the Probes the teams visited several psychiatric wards to get a broader view of everyday life. Specific requirements of the condition of schizophrenia, the vulnerabilities, limitations and possibilities to consider in the research were discussed during a training day by the psychiatrist Dr. Marc De Hert.
A workshop with critical designers Revital Cohen and Tuur van Balen was organised to support the students in creating challenging Probes for people with schizophrenic symptoms. Each team designed Probes for their specific ward that were approved by the staff before introducing them to the respondents. The Probe returns were used to inspire concepts for media designs, further developed in an iterative process involving staff and respondents.
Not Quite 100: about
‘Not Quite 100′ is a design research project where media, design, and psychiatry students design for and with people with schizophrenic symptoms. One in 100 people develop schizophrenia at some point in their life, yet what happens within the walls of mental health is often kept from society. In this project, designers from various disciplines collaborate with experts (health professionals and people with schizophrenic symptoms) to confront one of the most stigmatized phenomena of our society.
In ‘Not quite 100′ we choose to work with people with schizophrenic symptoms. In spite of advances in the understanding of its causes, course and treatment, schizophrenia continues to confound both health professionals and the general public. The lack of knowledge and one-sided media portrayals contribute to the stigma of mental disorders. Schizophrenia is widely considered the most serious mental disorder, characterised by positive, negative, cognitive and affective symptoms. Positive symptoms, in a clinical term, refer to symptoms that are added to reality: delusions, auditory hallucinations, megalomaniac thoughts or bizarre thought content, and are typically regarded as manifestations of psychoses. Negative symptoms reflect the loss or absence of abilities: motor impairment, flattened affect, lack of contact, passivity or apathetic withdrawal. Cognitive symptoms are difficulty in abstract thinking, disorientation, conceptual confusion, lack of attention or self-absorption. Affective symptoms are depression, hopelessness or dysphoria (De Hert et al., 1998).