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Title: Interactive textile design for multi-sensory environments
Authors: Kim, Heeyoung
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2021
Abstract: The number of people suffering from dementia is growing rapidly across the world. In Hong Kong, the number of people aged 60 years and above with dementia is expected to grow more than three times from 103,400 in 2009 to 332,688 in 2039 (Yu et al., 2012). The symptoms of dementia are progressive and can affect the cognitive functions, senses and wellbeing of people with dementia whilst simultaneously promoting feelings of isolation. Given that dementia is non-curable, sensory-focused activities are crucial in long-term dementia care due to their benefits to the social ability, functional abilities and memory of people with dementia. One of these sensory-focused activities involves the use of a multi-sensory environment (MSE), a space equipped with sensory tools for stimulating the five vital senses. However, the currently available MSE polymeric optical fiber (POF) tools lack intuitive interaction capabilities given that the switch is separated from the tool body. Moreover, the designs of these tools are reluctant to take cultural relevance and age-appropriateness into consideration and are likely to rely on a single function to stimulate one sense. This research aims to fill these gaps by investigating how sensory experiences can be enriched by co-designing POF textile-based sensory tools that possess culturally relevant associations. The embedded designs in mixed methods research were adopted to understand users with dementia, their needs and the demands of the dementia community and care professionals. The double diamond design framework (UK Design Council, 2019) integrated into action research cycles was adapted to the design process and user experience evaluation. A co-design approach that embeds three research strategies, namely, action research, ethnography and survey, was also used to facilitate creative design activities, such as interviews, observations, workshops and surveys, throughout the design process. The case study presented in this research was conducted in collaboration with the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Lok Man Alice Kwok Integrated Service Centre. The Joy, Peace, Grace and Life: Sensory Wall was co-designed with the dementia community, the social workers, a care director and an occupational therapist through interviews, observations and workshops in the elderly community centre setting. This Sensory Wall was developed and established at the centre in collaboration with textile specialists, an engineer and a constructor. To evaluate the effect of this Sensory Wall, user experience evaluations were conducted through interviews, performance task observations and a survey. This thesis examines how a meaningful POF textile-based sensory tool can be co-designed with diverse stakeholders and compares the effects of the proposed co-designed POF textile-based sensory tool on people with dementia and other users with those of existing POF sensory tools for MSE. The findings of this work can be used to generate a new co-design framework and a co-designed interactive POF textile-based sensory tool as well as provide some guidelines that can aid design practitioners and healthcare researchers in their practice.
Subjects: Polymers -- Optical properties
Textile fabrics
Sensory stimulation
Dementia -- Patients -- Rehabilitation
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Pages: 286 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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