creative industries fund nl
Encounter #8, intergenerational meetings

Encounter #8, intergenerational meetings

Joost van Wijmen, 2021

With ENCOUNTER#9, Stichting ENCOUNTER, together with Leyden Academy, is developing a method which enables people of different ages (elderly people/people in residential care homes and young people/students from the healthcare sector) to become acquainted with each other's life course. This method consists of a series of designed meetings that can be carried out independently by the participants. In this way, ENCOUNTER makes accessible the stories and experiences of young people (students being trained as healthcare professionals) and able elderly people living independently. Using sensory practices rooted in design, participants collect (tell, draw or photograph) stories about their bodies. This aims to focus the gaze on the intimate and delicate process associated with physical changes throughout life. The results show at a micro level the participants' own and others' views on themes such as vulnerability, intimacy and closeness. These stories mirror at a macro level questions about what it means to grow older, what good care (for the elderly) is and how we deal with the realization that life is only partly engineerable.

'Encounter' was part of the online exhibition 'Chronic Health – Happily ever after?' during Dutch Design Week 2020. Fifteen projects showed how designers are taking a fresh look at health.

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