Memory Bank wins ‘Outstanding Dementia Care Product for Innovation’ at The 2013 4th National Dementia Care Awards!
I started working on Memory Bank in early 2010 and continued until I’d completed the design and build of the six final master DVDs in the series containing thirty six films in total, I also designed the covers to the DVD packs, on-disc designs and created all the illustrations throughout the printed materials (featured on this page) not to mention the functional prototyping of the DVD navigation, menu designs, slideshows and animations. As far as product design and development goes, this was a very in-depth and ultimately very successful project for me.
Looking back now it seems like a huge undertaking, especially when you consider that I was delivering on many other projects for the Film Archive throughout those two years (see Seasons and Compositions categories), but I always knew that Memory Bank would be a success because the films that I was producing would carry it through. That’s why it was no surprise to hear that Memory Bank had won the Award For Outstanding Innovation at the 4th National Dementia Care Awards Gala Night that was held on the 6th November 2013 at Colwick Hall Hotel, Nottingham.
Memory Bank was a really rewarding and wonderful project to work on, just knowing that my work would have a huge positive effect on people’s lives was a great motivational thought that gave my creativity a terrific boost on this project. I filmed a trial session led by an occupational therapist at the Penistone Dementia Café and the response was fantastic. Conversations were sparked, memories were shared, there was laughter and discussion and a real sense that everyone enjoyed the films tremendously – it was just a lovely atmosphere.
The development of Memory Bank was from my perspective quite rigorous in that I produced a number of prototype discs each with different menu designs, navigation and film drafts and each prototype was tested in care homes and dementia cafés with groups and one to one participants.
So most important in the creative process was my awareness of the emotive applications of moving image, and my work in using Carl Jung’s research in the psychology of archetypes to inform the narratives that I created for Memory Bank using ‘found footage’ – it shed light on how I could shape the films, their highs and lows, emotional nuances and narrative journeys to maximise the immersive experience for the user and hence to elicit the beginnings of the journey into their own memories, through shared experience and both conscious and unconscious visual and audio cues.
Memory Bank is experienced by the user as fun, light entertainment that throws up topics to discuss and allows opportunities for activities to be developed, but under the surface I feel the Memory Bank films constitute an extremely sophisticated psychological tool that draws on Jungian Life Stages Archetypes, Fine Art, high-end Film Making and a general celebration of human life that directly and pointedly addresses some of the symptoms of memory loss, social isolation and emotional dislocation associated with old age in our society and also dementia.
It makes me extremely happy to know that my films are out there doing their job and having a positive effect on the lives of those who need it most.