Ageing Playfully

Ageing Playfully
Co-designing interactive and playful ways to encourage dementia-friendly exercise and movement.

Dementia affects currently 800,000 people in the UK and is predicted to exceed one million people by 2021. Although there is no cure for dementia, cognitive and behavioural interventions, as well as exercise programmes relating to daily living activities are most beneficial at improving the quality of life of people with Dementia and slowing down the decline associated with the disease.

In this project we will be running a number of workshops within the Age UK Lancashire Community (with people at the early stages of Dementia, their caregivers and Age UK ) with the aim to empower workshop participants to becoming designers themselves. Through a number of creative and playful activities workshop participants will be able to share their aspirations, needs and experiences and (with the help of designers from the University) come up with ideas to create plans or models (prototypes) of these ideas.

In a follow-up stage of the project, these ideas and prototypes will be then taken forward by the research project team and be realised. These would be given to workshop participants to be iteratively tested and share feedback in order to improve them.

The project has been funded by the Creative Exchange.


Project Team

TseklevesTsekleves Emmanuel Tsekleves Design for Health & Wellbeing, Design for Ageing, Design Interactions, Global Challenge Design, Design Fictions, Playful Design, Digital Design
Amanda Bingley Amanda Bingley Lecturer in Health Research
Diane Armstrong Diane Armstrong Dementia Support Coordinator for Age UK Lancashire
Luján EscalanteLuján Escalante Malé Luján Escalante Digital Public Space, New Materialisms, Philosophy of Technics, Feminist Technoscinece (FSTS), Research through Design, Inventing/ve Methods.
Adrian Gradinar Adrian Gradinar Software Developer/PhD Candidate, Lancaster University

Partners / Funders

Project Funders


The musical Bench featured by BBC Radio Lancashire..

The musical Bench featured by BBC Radio Lancashire..

..during its exhibition at the Dementia Futures event

A musical bench, developed by members of ImaginationLancaster, that allows older people to stretch whilst creating music, has been featured on Friday the 18th of September by BBC Radio Lancashire.    The musical bench was...Read full update

V&A Keynote talk on Playful Design in Healthcare...

V&A Keynote talk on Playful Design in Healthcare...

... receives a lot of attention during the Sackler conference on Art, Design and New Technology for Health

The keynote speech at the Sackler conference at the V&A museum (Friday 19th June 2015) presented the role of playful design in healthcare. It showcased how game thinking combined with...Read full update

Co-designing musical instruments..

Co-designing musical instruments..

..reveals insights on user participation

This was by far the most playful and animated workshop the team has run. Workshop participants co-designed in groups very unique musical soundboard filled with musical instruments made from scratch. The session finished with people playing music using...Read full update

Co-designing the perfect garden...

Co-designing the perfect garden... a most playful way.

Following the success of our first workshop and our groups' shared interest in gardening, in the second workshop we explored the design of the perfect garden. Our co-designers created a series of perfect gardens with very rich stories to accompany them. Using creative...Read full update

A playful workshop for ageing playfully...

A playful workshop for ageing playfully...

...with our senior co-designers enjoying themselves.

In our first in a series of workshops the team used playful and creative ways to explore the range and type of activities enjoyed by all. This led to the co-creation of  a series of collages and moodboards of favourite past, present,...Read full update

From vinyl records to toys: the return of analogue products in our digital lives

Articleby Emmanuel Tsekleves
From vinyl records to toys: the return of analogue products in our digital lives

The resurgence of analogue shows us that although we live in a digital age we still place a lot of value on physical experiences. Therefore the comeback is not simply a nostalgia for the past, but instead a driving force of a post-digital era, where a new hybrid physical and digital – phygital – future is emerging. ...Read full article