Healing Spaces is physical, sensory experience for older adults living with dementia and their caregivers.
The Healing Spaces iOS app works together with the Philips Hue smart lights and allows caregivers to take persons with dementia to different ecosystems and worlds through light, colors, sounds and visuals, extending the virtual experience into the physical space. Our digital experiences are also paired with themed sensory boxes that address the senses of touch and smell.
Inspired by the research legacy of Multisensory Environments, Healing Spaces is about creating restorative environments where older adults living with dementia and their caregivers can find respite and heal.
Healing Spaces focuses on the design of sensory experiences that may address the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, and also serve as a toolkit for caregivers to better manage and conduct sensory-based activities.
As an artist and designer, I am inspired by connections. The connections between us and the world around us, the connections within ourselves, and above all, the connections we establish with those we encounter in our lives.
With this project, my goal was to help older adults living with moderate to severe dementia reconnect with their surroundings and their caregivers, even if just for a brief moment. It is also an exploration of play as a form of expression, and as a way to understand and connect with the world. Healing Spaces was designed to amplify a caregiver's ability to create play and lead sensory sessions.
In our sensory experiences, we create immersion by infusing storytelling in every detail possible - in how the spaces feels through light and color, and in the sounds, smells and textures. Our ultimate goal is to make multi-sensory sessions more focused and meaningful, and to harness the power of our non-visuals senses to instill a greater sense of wonder and play, while exploring the convergence of physical and virtual layers.
Gabriela Gomes - Lead Designer, Developer & Creative Director
Awu Chen - Developer
Sydney Rubin - UX Researcher & Designer
Winnie Lai - Researcher
Leah Stein Duker
Made in collaboration with:
USC Creative Media & Behavioral Health Center
Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing
USC Family Caregiver Support Center