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demedartsWalker Design


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Walker, Design by Ruth Mateus-Berr & Pia Scharler

Steel, Apron, Lederhosen, Traditional costume fabric, hat, bell



BAD ISCHL is a rollator designed especially for Bad Ischl and its residents and reflects their love of traditional costume. Apron, lederhosen, traditional costume fabric and hat as well as a bell characterize this specimen. Even Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Sisi enjoyed their summer retreats here and even today people like to wear dirndls, lederhosen and traditional Bad Ischl costumes, which contribute significantly to the identity of the town.

These rollators stand for Critical Design, a design style that criticizes things or conditions; here it draws attention to a deficiency in design and demands the right to self-determined and self-confident aesthetics. The objects are not intended for actual use, but should contribute to a change in design. This can also create an interaction that can have a positive effect on people with dementia with a basic withdrawal behavior and experience of loneliness, because it can be assumed that people will be addressed by rollators designed in this way.

This also draws on experiences from reminiscence therapy, which deals with memories from personal biographies. This is supplemented by visual, haptic, auditory and olfactory design and in relation to body memories, which still require a lot of research in terms of dementia research.

The topic of art and dementia is about 

1. raising awareness of the topic of dementia - for example with the rollators as critical design: this is not about usability, but the objects draw attention to the needs of those affected, who want to remain part of our society, feel the right to be crazy and have fun and want to be addressed by a different aesthetic, 

2. creating opportunities for people with dementia, relatives and carers to create well-being using art as a method. Biographical references are taken up in a haptic-aesthetic way. At the same time, the objects also draw attention to the need for interaction and the disappearance of loneliness.

Exhibition: DEMEDARTS Dementia. Empathy. Education. Arts.

Time: Opening, Sunday, 25.6.2023 at 11 am

Exhibition duration: 25.6.2023 until 10.7. 2023

Location: Gallery AM FLUSS, Hasnerallee 2, 4820 Bad Ischl

Panel discussion with Ines Schiller and Ruth Mateus-Berr

Time: 26.6., 6.30pm

Place: Alte Kurdirektion, 4820 Bad Ischl

Exhibition: DEMEDARTS Dementia. Empathy. Education. Arts. As part of the Capital of Culture Bad Ischl in fall 2024 in the Galerie am Fluss.

DEMEDARTS is an artistic research project of the Center for Didactics for Art and Interdisciplinary Education at the University of Applied Arts Vienna.

Funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), within the PEEK-program (Programm zur Erweiterung und Erschließung der Künste): A-609 ; Project DOI: 10.55776/AR609

The project runs from: February 2020 – January 2023


2024 Arte Laguna Prize for Art & Design. International Prize for Contemporary Art.

AWARD FUNDER: Italian Cultural association MoCA (Modern Contemporary Art)

Ruth Mateus-Berr and Pia Scharler

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