Exhibition in a box : uncovering occupational identity through objects

CRAIG, Claire, GUBLER, Ursi and CHAMBERLAIN, Paul (2016). Exhibition in a box : uncovering occupational identity through objects. In: 40th College of Occupational Therapists Annual Conference, Harrogate, 28th-30th June 2016.

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Official URL: http://www.cotannualconference.org.uk/2016

Abstract

As the number of people aged 65 and over is set to rise to two billion by 2050 efforts to understand the needs of older people have become priorities for research and policy (WHO 2011). However older people have tended to be viewed as passive recipients rather than as active partners in research and it is less common to find studies that focus on the broader aspirations of older people in relation to their lives (Katz 2011). This paper describes an international, interdisciplinary research study that explored the experiences of groups of older people living in the United Kingdom and Switzerland as a way to understand of how design can support independence and wellbeing in later life. Convenience sampling was used to recruit thirty older community living older people to the study and a critical artefact methodology (exhibition in a box) was used to invite individuals to identify and describe their experiences. Through a series of carefully selected objects older people living in the United Kingdom and Switzerland were able to identify and describe their occupational needs, hopes and aspirations. Thematic analysis was used to identify key themes which included the changing meaning of the home environment, the association of objects with identity and the pervasive nature of technology in the home and the challenges and opportunities associated with this. The objects spoke something of the universal nature of the tools through which we perform meaningful occupations, offering a point of contact and a way we can gain entry into understanding the value of these things in people’s lives.The method was found to be culturally sensitive and was successful in both scaffolding conversation and also in positioning the older person as expert and as an active partner in the process

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Depositing User: Claire Craig
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2016 08:45
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2016 08:45
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12674

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