The Soft Touch: Design vs. Disruption

Sara Nevay (Lead / Corresponding author), Sze Chong Lim, Gary Gowans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Loneliness is a growing endemic social condition that can be deeply harmful to health and wellbeing, particularly for ageing populations, who, consequently, may be at greater risk of developing depression, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease (Campaign to End Loneliness, 2016). Contributing to a PhD study that employs a soft design approach towards connectedness – the antithesis of loneliness – twelve older adults were invited to experience an interactive etextile prototype, the ‘Dundee Conversation Quilt’. Designed by individuals with experience of loneliness to prompt dialogue and interaction, the quilt reflects some core values project participants have consistently identified as being key to social connectedness: identity, heritage and storytelling. Despite careful design and a soft touch approach, in this paper we will describe a situation where disruption, distraction and – at times – discomfort prevailed during a workshop where the Dundee Conversation Quilt was tested. Hosted by a local charitable organisation and up against adverse environmental factors including an unexpectedly hot climate and last minute changes to the workspace and facilitation team, this workshop presented challenges outwith the researchers’ control, and to the potential detriment of participant wellbeing. We unpack this demanding workshop journey, reporting on the workshop design - its’ successes in providing opportunity for connectedness, its’ derailments - and the implications of these disruptions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRunning with Scissors
Subtitle of host publication13th International Conference of the European Academy of Design
EditorsLouise Valentine, Joanna Bletcher, Leon Cruickshank
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Pages601-613
Number of pages13
Volume22
EditionSupplement 1
ISBN (Electronic)9780367330569
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event13th International Conference of the European Academy of Design: Running with Scissors - Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, Dundee, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Apr 201912 Apr 2019
Conference number: 13
https://ead2019dundee.com/

Publication series

NameDesign Journal
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN (Print)1460-6925

Conference

Conference13th International Conference of the European Academy of Design
Abbreviated titleEAD Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityDundee
Period10/04/1912/04/19
Internet address

Fingerprint

Derailments
Aging of materials
Health

Keywords

  • Workshop Design
  • E-textiles
  • Participatory Design

Cite this

Nevay, S., Lim, S. C., & Gowans, G. (2019). The Soft Touch: Design vs. Disruption. In L. Valentine, J. Bletcher, & L. Cruickshank (Eds.), Running with Scissors: 13th International Conference of the European Academy of Design (Supplement 1 ed., Vol. 22, pp. 601-613). (Design Journal). United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis. https://doi.org/10.1080/14606925.2019.1595441
Nevay, Sara ; Lim, Sze Chong ; Gowans, Gary. / The Soft Touch : Design vs. Disruption. Running with Scissors: 13th International Conference of the European Academy of Design. editor / Louise Valentine ; Joanna Bletcher ; Leon Cruickshank. Vol. 22 Supplement 1. ed. United Kingdom : Taylor & Francis, 2019. pp. 601-613 (Design Journal).
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abstract = "Loneliness is a growing endemic social condition that can be deeply harmful to health and wellbeing, particularly for ageing populations, who, consequently, may be at greater risk of developing depression, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease (Campaign to End Loneliness, 2016). Contributing to a PhD study that employs a soft design approach towards connectedness – the antithesis of loneliness – twelve older adults were invited to experience an interactive etextile prototype, the ‘Dundee Conversation Quilt’. Designed by individuals with experience of loneliness to prompt dialogue and interaction, the quilt reflects some core values project participants have consistently identified as being key to social connectedness: identity, heritage and storytelling. Despite careful design and a soft touch approach, in this paper we will describe a situation where disruption, distraction and – at times – discomfort prevailed during a workshop where the Dundee Conversation Quilt was tested. Hosted by a local charitable organisation and up against adverse environmental factors including an unexpectedly hot climate and last minute changes to the workspace and facilitation team, this workshop presented challenges outwith the researchers’ control, and to the potential detriment of participant wellbeing. We unpack this demanding workshop journey, reporting on the workshop design - its’ successes in providing opportunity for connectedness, its’ derailments - and the implications of these disruptions.",
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Nevay, S, Lim, SC & Gowans, G 2019, The Soft Touch: Design vs. Disruption. in L Valentine, J Bletcher & L Cruickshank (eds), Running with Scissors: 13th International Conference of the European Academy of Design. Supplement 1 edn, vol. 22, Design Journal, Taylor & Francis, United Kingdom, pp. 601-613, 13th International Conference of the European Academy of Design, Dundee, United Kingdom, 10/04/19. https://doi.org/10.1080/14606925.2019.1595441

The Soft Touch : Design vs. Disruption. / Nevay, Sara (Lead / Corresponding author); Lim, Sze Chong; Gowans, Gary.

Running with Scissors: 13th International Conference of the European Academy of Design. ed. / Louise Valentine; Joanna Bletcher; Leon Cruickshank. Vol. 22 Supplement 1. ed. United Kingdom : Taylor & Francis, 2019. p. 601-613 (Design Journal).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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T1 - The Soft Touch

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AU - Nevay, Sara

AU - Lim, Sze Chong

AU - Gowans, Gary

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Loneliness is a growing endemic social condition that can be deeply harmful to health and wellbeing, particularly for ageing populations, who, consequently, may be at greater risk of developing depression, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease (Campaign to End Loneliness, 2016). Contributing to a PhD study that employs a soft design approach towards connectedness – the antithesis of loneliness – twelve older adults were invited to experience an interactive etextile prototype, the ‘Dundee Conversation Quilt’. Designed by individuals with experience of loneliness to prompt dialogue and interaction, the quilt reflects some core values project participants have consistently identified as being key to social connectedness: identity, heritage and storytelling. Despite careful design and a soft touch approach, in this paper we will describe a situation where disruption, distraction and – at times – discomfort prevailed during a workshop where the Dundee Conversation Quilt was tested. Hosted by a local charitable organisation and up against adverse environmental factors including an unexpectedly hot climate and last minute changes to the workspace and facilitation team, this workshop presented challenges outwith the researchers’ control, and to the potential detriment of participant wellbeing. We unpack this demanding workshop journey, reporting on the workshop design - its’ successes in providing opportunity for connectedness, its’ derailments - and the implications of these disruptions.

AB - Loneliness is a growing endemic social condition that can be deeply harmful to health and wellbeing, particularly for ageing populations, who, consequently, may be at greater risk of developing depression, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease (Campaign to End Loneliness, 2016). Contributing to a PhD study that employs a soft design approach towards connectedness – the antithesis of loneliness – twelve older adults were invited to experience an interactive etextile prototype, the ‘Dundee Conversation Quilt’. Designed by individuals with experience of loneliness to prompt dialogue and interaction, the quilt reflects some core values project participants have consistently identified as being key to social connectedness: identity, heritage and storytelling. Despite careful design and a soft touch approach, in this paper we will describe a situation where disruption, distraction and – at times – discomfort prevailed during a workshop where the Dundee Conversation Quilt was tested. Hosted by a local charitable organisation and up against adverse environmental factors including an unexpectedly hot climate and last minute changes to the workspace and facilitation team, this workshop presented challenges outwith the researchers’ control, and to the potential detriment of participant wellbeing. We unpack this demanding workshop journey, reporting on the workshop design - its’ successes in providing opportunity for connectedness, its’ derailments - and the implications of these disruptions.

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M3 - Conference contribution

VL - 22

T3 - Design Journal

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EP - 613

BT - Running with Scissors

A2 - Valentine, Louise

A2 - Bletcher, Joanna

A2 - Cruickshank, Leon

PB - Taylor & Francis

CY - United Kingdom

ER -

Nevay S, Lim SC, Gowans G. The Soft Touch: Design vs. Disruption. In Valentine L, Bletcher J, Cruickshank L, editors, Running with Scissors: 13th International Conference of the European Academy of Design. Supplement 1 ed. Vol. 22. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis. 2019. p. 601-613. (Design Journal). https://doi.org/10.1080/14606925.2019.1595441