Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Wise Connections: Co-design places to support creative ageing


Theo Zamenopoulos, PhD | The Open University; Katerina Alexiou, PhD; Tot Foster, PhD; Ruth Myers, Ms; Pete Insole, Mr; Farrell Renowden, Ms; Isobel Jones, Ms; Georgina Densley, Ms
Competition Sponsor: United Kingdom Research and Innovation
Awardee Year: 2022

As we grow older, our opportunities to re-imagine, develop, and integrate our own capabilities to participate in social, cultural and economic life are reduced. Being able to grow our ‘creative capabilities’ as we grow older, to produce something of value for us and others, is fundamental for our independent living and wellbeing but also the society at large. Our research over the past 10 years suggests that our creative capabilities are progressively reduced because there are limited ‘places’, namely environments within our private and public life that can foster relations of trust, inspiration, and empowerment to enable us to grow. To the end, the project aims to devise and cascade ‘provocations’ for socio-cultural interactions, referred to as ‘seeds’, across networks of people and/or organisations, referred to as ‘allotments’. ‘Seeds’ are physical or digital materials that would help people to explore, discover and exchange skills and resources (for instance a ‘travelling’ box that contains resources and materials for creation passed on between people physically or digitally). Seeds aim to grow ‘places’ within homes, public or professional spaces where people feel empowered to discover, integrate and develop what they value to do or be in life. Overall, the ambition is to create a valuable but also viable and scalable ‘habitat’ of seeds and allotments for growing such places across our private, social, and professional life. The project is a collaboration with Local Learning, Alive, AgeUK Oxfordshire and the Age of Creativity network.

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