Improvisation and reciprocal design: Soundplay for dementia

Gail Kenning, Alon Ilsar, Rens Brankaert, Mark Evans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch

6 Citations (Scopus)


Design and research studies regarding the impact of music on the wellbeing of people living with advanced dementia are ongoing. Many of these focus on reminiscence and the use of familiar songs, music and instruments. However, fewer studies have explored the creative and improvisational aspects of music making with people living with advanced dementia. This project explored the response of people from this group to an innovative gestural electronic instrument—The AirSticks™. The engagement promoted creative musical improvisation and resulted in a highly emotive response from one particular participant, suggesting the creative impulse can be retained.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDementia Lab 2019, Making Design Work: Engaging with Dementia in Context
Subtitle of host publication4th Conference, D-Lab 2019 Eindhoven, The Netherlands, October 21–22, 2019 Proceedings
EditorsRens Brankaert, Wijnand IJsselsteijn
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9783030335403
ISBN (Print)9783030335397
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event4th Dementia Lab Conference, D-Lab 2019 - Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 21 Oct 201922 Oct 2019

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
ISSN (Print)1865-0929
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0937


Conference4th Dementia Lab Conference, D-Lab 2019


  • Creativity
  • Dementia
  • Design
  • Improvisation
  • Music

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