The Alzheimer Project
Alireza Seyedahmadian (Architecture + Urban Planning)
The Alzheimer Project is an interactive installation with the purpose of creating an atmospheric experience for creating empathy and awareness towards Alzheimer patients. Alzheimer is a growing national problem. According to the 2015 Alzheimer Association Report, more than 180,000 people in Michigan aged 65 or older have Alzheimer’s disease. Taking care of people with Alzheimer’s requires society to provide financial support as well as time investment for the patients.
Volunteer caregivers are the people who invest their time for providing care for patients. According to the same report, there are more than 508,000 caregivers in Michigan who provide more than 578 million hours of unpaid care every year. Caregivers provide a great basis for supporting people with Alzheimer, however, there is a growing need for volunteer caregivers. On the other hand, with the rise of Alzheimer’s, people must obtain a better understanding of the symptoms of this disease.
Art has a potential to create empathy and awareness in society. Our proposed project is an interactive installation that aims to help people better understand Alzheimer and to shape an empathy with patients. This installation consists of a field of suspended glass orbs with an implemented light and transducer. Each orb represents memories of a patient. Bright lights and vivid sounds represents patients who are at their early stages of Alzheimer’s. Gradually sounds and lights fade until they completely disappear. To create a higher level of empathy, the sound that is being played from transducers are real memories of Alzheimer’s patients. A motion tracking system will be installed inside the space to track visitors. When visitors approach an orb, start listening to memories and “taking care” of that orb, this system will send signals to the orb and sounds gradually become more clear and lights get brighter. Through creating an interactive environment, this project will shape an atmospheric experience which can help raise awareness towards this issue. We’re thinking of introducing other aspects as well to create an interaction between the visitors with the installation.