Exploring Participants’ Representations and Shifting Sensitivities in a Hackathon for Dementia

Hodge, James, Foley, Sarah, Lambton-Howard, Dan, Booi, Laura, Montague, Kyle, Coulter, Sandra, Kirk, David and Morrissey, Kellie (2023) Exploring Participants’ Representations and Shifting Sensitivities in a Hackathon for Dementia. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 30 (3). p. 46. ISSN 1073-0516

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1145/3571814


Recent HCI research has addressed emerging approaches for public engagement. One such public-facing method which has gained popularity over the previous decade have been open design events, or hackathons. In this paper we report on DemVR, a hackathon event that invited designers, technologists, and students of these disciplines to design Virtual Reality (VR) environments for people with dementia and their care partners. While our event gained reasonable attraction from designers and developers, this paper unpacks the challenges in representing and involving people with dementia in these events, which had multiple knock-on effects on participant's outputs. Our analysis presents insights into participants’ motivations, challenges participants faced when constructing their ‘absent user’, and the design features teams developed to address the social context of the user. We conclude the paper by proposing a set of commitments for collaborative design events, community building through design, and reification in design.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: We would like to thank the hackathon attendees and support from Silverline Memories for their support during the study. This work was funded by EPSRC (EP/L016176/1) (https://epsrc. ukri.org/). Data supporting this publication is not openly available due to confidentiality consideration. Access may be possible under appropriate agreement.
Uncontrolled Keywords: dementia, community, social, hackathon, care, virtual reality
Subjects: G400 Computer Science
G500 Information Systems
G700 Artificial Intelligence
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2022 15:15
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2023 08:45
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/50998

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