Jewellery as an aid to memory and well-being, participatory project and exhibition, 2016

2016-08-12T09:10:43Z (GMT) by Roberta Bernabei
The output entitled, ‘Jewellery as an aid to memory and well-being’ consists of two participatory projects and one exhibition of 15 brooches held at Cedar House Residential care home in Rothley, Leicestershire, between March and June 2016. The research investigates the extent to which jewellery imbued with memories function can aid well-being through participatory exchanges with elderly participants.
This research is original because it united participatory design methods, 3D rapid prototyping, storytelling and jewellery making with participants’ memories. The application of 3D printing techniques minimised the cost and initiated the process of democratising the participatory design methods; thereby opening the project to a wider audience.
Research Questions
A) How do sensitising materials and digital technologies used in jewellery practice determine its capacity to embody memories and emotions?
B) How can participatory jewellery practice affect the dissemination of embedded jewellery?
C) To what extent can jewellery imbued with memories function as an aid to well-being?
Methods/ Processes
The output arises from an investigation by the author using a framework drawn from Ingold (2009) on narrative quality; from Wallace (2007:198) on processes centred on emotion as social, discursive and human-relational; and from sensitising materials by Bernabei. It draws on methods familiar in social science disciplines, notably qualitative interviews and action research.
In the context in which these methods were employed, the jeweller works as co-creator with participants while gaining an insight into participants’ memories and emotions through simultaneously interviewing them as the process unfolds.