Losing Myself #BiennaleArchitettura2016 Irish Pavilion
Alzheimer's Disease is a form of dementia, one of a range of conditions that progressively degrades the synaptic connections within our brains. It brings about a loss of those faculties that allow us to orientate ourselves and to remember. Our report is a reflection on the lessons learnt through designing and revisiting buildings for people with dementia. It has two complementary components: a website that collates a mosaic of conversations, drawings, stories and experiments around the subject of dementia; and an immersive installation at the Biennale Architettura 2016 that uses drawing as a medium to explore the occupation of a building we designed for people with dementia. www.losingmyself.ie documents the lessons we learn as we speak to a broad range of people about dementia. This website presents a series of interdisciplinary conversations with experts across a range of fields – neuroscientists, psychologists, health workers, philosophers and anthropologists – as well as people with dementia and their families. It allows us to collate stories of personal interactions with dementia, and is of interest to architects, scientists and those dealing with dementia day to day. The site is also a record of the process of developing our central Venice installation: drawing and making in collaboration with others. The design of the website itself incorporates creative advice from people with dementia.