Design Museum residency for graduate
Image: Chloe with the box of memories. Photo: Andy Weekes.
University of Brighton Faculty of Arts 3D Design and Craft BA(Hons) graduate Chloe Meineck has been chosen to take part in the 2013 Designers in Residence programme at the Design Museum.
Chloe is one of only four designers to be selected and will have her work exhibited at the museum from September this year. This follows her recent Craft and Technology residency funded by the Crafts Council.
Chloe designed and created a Musical Memory Box as a way of helping to trigger memories and help orientate dementia sufferers. The box is filled with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tagged objects that prompt musical tracks when moved to certain spots in the box.
The box was created in collaboration with her subject Barbara, to provide an innovative and practical application of recent research that indicates that music memory is retained in dementia sufferers, and can be utilised to trigger other linked memories.
The objects inside the delicately carved wooden box prompt memories of people or places, Barbara's childhood, marriage and latter years. The positive results can be seen in the video below in which Barbara toys with the box and its contents.
Barbara suggested the objects, design and music and where possible, real trinkets were used. Otherwise Meineck designed and made models of them. After seeing the positive impact on Barbara, Meineck is keen to continue the project. She said: "I hope I can carry on making bespoke boxes and also broadening the process out to run workshops with large groups of people in homes, making communal music memory boxes."
It is believed that because the brain uses many different regions to process musical information, and it is likely that some of these areas take longer to be affected by different forms of dementia. This makes musical memory, informed by language, emotion and pattern, stronger than, for example, language-related memories. Research has indicated that music helps to improve behaviour in Alzheimer’s sufferers and help to orient them in a way that nothing else can."
The Design Museum Residency programme, which aims to encourage and support new design talent, is now in its sixth year.