Our Research

We have collaborated with people living with dementia and their families as well as professional carers, to create and evaluate the HUG™ design. We have worked closely with over 70 organisations, including Alzheimer’s Society and the NHS, to develop HUG™ as an award-winning product. This helps ensure HUG™ is appropriate, useful and safe to use at home, in residential care and in hospital.

Research participant with HUG™

Our design process is guided by Compassionate Design that ensures that loving kindness and the needs of the user, are kept at the heart of all we do.

Compassionate Design toolkit

You can read more about Compassionate Design and the research journey that led to HUG’s development in ‘Compassionate Design: a toolkit for designers’. We have written over 40 published articles about our research and many of them can be accessed and downloaded for free.  Our research has also been published in a number of edited books on wellbeing and design.

We use technology in our products to extend their sensory properties. We know that music can provide special magic, transporting a person back to special moments in their lives. Aidan Taylor is our Technical Director, and his research continues to develop and refine innovative ways of interacting with our products to bring special moments into every day.

Our future research will focus on developing new sensory products to help people living with cognitive impairment, dementia and those in end-of-life care.  Our aim is to bring joy, comfort and pleasure through the designs that we create.

LAUGH project design research workshop

publications about HUG and the LAUGH project

Taylor, A., Treadaway, C., Fennell, J. & Davies, M.S. (in press) Making HUGs: crafting wellbeing benefits through social manufacturing, Journal of Arts and Communities.

Treadaway, C., Fennell, J. & Taylor, A. (2020) Compassionate Design: a methodology for advanced dementia. In Proc: Design 4 Health. Amsterdam, Netherlands. 1-3 July 2020. pp 667-673.

Treadaway, C. (2020) Designing for people living with dementia. In A. Petermans & Cain, R., Design for Wellbeing: An Applied Approach. London: Routledge. pp. 33-45

Treadaway, C. (2019) HUG for people with dementia. Advances Issue 91/Winter 2019, Pub. Business Wales, Welsh Government, pp. 6-7

Fennell, J., Treadaway, C. & Taylor, A. (2019) Open Doors: Designing playful objects for dementia. In Proc: MinD International Conference. Dresden, Germany. 19th-20th September 2019.

Treadaway, C., Fennell, J., Taylor, A. & Kenning, G. (2019) ‘Designing for playfulness through compassion: design for advanced dementia’, Design for Health, 3:1, 27-47, DOI: 10.1080/24735132.2019.1593295.

Treadaway, C., Fennell, J., Prytherch, D., Kenning, G. & Walters, A. (2018) ‘Designing for wellbeing in later stage dementia.’ In R.Coles, Costa, S. & Watson, S., Pathways to Well-Being in Design. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-8153469-5-1

Treadaway, C., Taylor, A. & Fennell, J. (2018) ‘Compassionate design for dementia care.’ International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, DOI: 10.1080/21650349.2018.1501280.

Treadaway, C. (2018) LAUGH: playful objects in advanced dementia care. The Journal of Dementia Care July/August 2018, Vol 26 Iss:4, pp24-26.

Treadaway, C., Fennell, J., Taylor, A. & Kenning, G. (2018) ‘Designing for playfulness through compassion: design for advanced dementia.’  Proceedings of the 5th European International Conference on Design4Health, Sheffield, September 4 – 6.

Kenning, G., Treadaway, C., Fennell, J. & Prytherch, D. (2018) ‘Evaluation or ‘anecdote’? Understanding the impact of design.’  Proceedings of the 5th European International Conference on Design4Health, Sheffield, September 4 – 6.

Treadaway, C., Fennell, J., Prytherch, D., Kenning, G., Prior, A., Walters, A. and Taylor, A. (2018) ‘Compassionate Design: How to Design for Advanced Dementia – a toolkit for designers’, Cardiff: Cardiff Met Press. ISBN 978-0-9929482-8-3

Kenning, G. & Treadaway, C. (2018).  ‘Designing for Dementia: Iterative Grief and Transitional Objects’ Design Issues, Vol. 34 Iss: 1. pp. 42-53.

Treadaway, C., Taylor, A. & Fennell, J. (2018) ‘Compassionate Creativity: co-design for advanced dementia.’  Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Design Creativity (ICDC 2018), Bath, January 31 – February 2.

Treadaway, C. (2018) ‘LAUGH improves wellbeing, happiness and quality of life of people living with advanced dementia’, Research Features, Issue 122 ISSN 2399-1534

Fennell, J., Treadaway, C. and Kenning, G. (2017) ‘Design for dementia: Making spaces for uncertainty.’  Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Design4Health, Melbourne, December 4 – 7, pp.117-120.

Kenning, G., Treadaway, C., Fennell, J., Prytherch, D. and Walters, A. (2017) ‘Craft as purpose: Co-design for people living with advanced dementia.’ Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Design4Health, Melbourne, December 4 – 7, pp.121-123.

Treadaway, C. and Fennell, J. (2017).  ‘How do we create attractive personalised and customised care?’  Does Design Care? AHRC Symposium, Lancaster University, September 12-13.

Jakob, A., Manchester, H. and Treadaway, C. (2017).  ‘Sensory Design for Dementia Care: three stories.’  Dementia Lab, Dortmund, Germany, September 6-7.

Kenning, G. and Treadaway, C. (2017).  ‘Conversations at the edge of play.’  Continuum Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 31 Iss: 4. pp.1-13.

Treadaway, C., Kenning, G., Prytherch D., and Fennell J. (2016). ‘Laugh: designing to enhance positive emotion of people living with dementia’. Proceedings of the 10th Design and Emotion Conference, Amsterdam, September 27-30.

Treadaway, C., Fennell, J., Kenning, G., Prytherch, D., & Walters A. (2016). ‘Designing for wellbeing in late stage dementia’. WELL-BEING 2016: Co-Creating Pathways to Well-Being, The Third International Conference Exploring the Multi-Dimensions of Well-Being, Birmingham City University, September 5-6.

Treadaway, C., Prytherch, D., Kenning, G. and Fennell, J. (2016). ‘In the Moment: designing for late stage dementia’.  Design Research Society Conference 2016, Brighton, June 27-30.

Treadaway, C., & Kenning, G. (2016). ‘Sensor e-textiles: person centered co-design for people with late stage dementia’.  Working with Older People, Vol. 20 Iss: 2, pp.76 – 85.

Treadaway, C. (2016).  How designing smarter textile tech can help people living with dementia. The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/how-designing-smarter-textile-tech-can-help-people-living-with-dementia-59503.

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