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demedartsWalker Design

THONET

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Material

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Year

Dimensions

THONET

Walker, Design by Ruth Mateus-Berr & Pia Scharler

Tubular Steel, bentwood

70.00x260.00x70.00

2023

THONET represents a rollator (walker) designed for people who love good classic design and want to be reminded of the Viennese coffee house. Thonet is an Austrian company that has been producing furniture for the home and project sector for two centuries: The special production technology using bentwood and tubular steel as well as the designers have made the company one of the most successful furniture companies in the world.

This walker represents Critical Design, which is a style of design 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, they are intended to contribute to a change in design.


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 caretakers 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.

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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