Streetcanvas - For Alzheimer


Alzheimer is an insivible and progressive disease, but it doesn’t mean that people that suffer from this disease, have to be invisible.

In the South of Amsterdam there is a place called the Odense House, this is a local meeting-point for people with Alzheimer and other forms of dementia. They are located at the end of an alley so they are not so much in sight, but they sure are there!

These people are working very hard to design activities for people with Alzheimer and dementia, they do trips, take walks through the neighbourhood, organise cooking workshops and more.

My goal was to try and achieve some sort of visibility that fits with this place. A subtle element that incorporates the qualities of the Odense House and, in a playful way, makes it a nicer environment that might trigger curiosity and simply adds a layer that communicates to the outside that ‘We are here’.

The basis for a way of marking your ground is chalk, this is a very common way of marking things like football fields and crime scenes. Children also like chalk, they draw imaginary floorplans on the sidewalk, tell graphic stories on the street and even invent their own games with drawings of chalk!

The Odense House visitors can now use the street as their canvas, when someone decides to take a walk outside, they can take cart with them that they drag along on the road. This apparatus will then draw a line on the road. One simple line. Together more lines will form a pathway to and from the Odense House.

These lines make clear all the above points, it’s marking a territory, subtle. It can spark curiosity, especially children notice that. It shows that somewhere, there is someone that must make these lines. These are frequenters of the Odense House, and they show that they do still go outside, and that they still matter!

Connected to this tool is a workshop. I teached the frequenters of the Odense House how to make their own chalk. They have the possibility of adding color to the chalk to personalise it. The workshop is an element to on one side involve the Odense House more into the project and on the other side to provide them with an activity, because I think that it is -always- good for people to make things with their hands.

When they go out for a walk, they can then take their own chalk block and go outside to draw their route with the tool I provided them with.

The final design of the carriage was presented on the De-Mens-Zie festival. It became a shopping cart with a ‘click-on’ chalk holder that is hidden underneath the carriage.

Find your way!

A video of the device can be seen here:

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