Interdisiplinary connections between health care and design - a case study in a psychogeriatric ward in Norway


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The Design Society

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Interdisciplinary communication can contribute to the development of a sustainable environment. The promotion of interdisciplinary collaboration among specialists and with people in general is an objective in design education described in the second cycle of higher education in the Bologna process. This article introduces a case study of a creative process initiated to explore how the use of material and visual aesthetics contribute to create a health promoting environment. Health professionals were invited into a process of materializing suitable art objects for a geriatric ward in mental health care. A participatory design process illuminated different intentions from the participants and these influenced the creative process in the making of communicative forms with various shapes and surfaces. An analysis of the case was performed to disclose structures in the process and furthermore to synthesize the key findings into an expanded knowledge on intentionality in design. The key findings make relevant concepts for learning outcomes in product design education and are defined as the; pragmatic flexibility of an open conceptual form, the potentials of a skilled and emancipated view on materiality in interdisciplinary collaboration and the promotion of interdisciplinary collaboration through visual and tactile communication



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