I sat down today to write about goats, but that will have to wait for another time. Instead I got diverted into the power, and pull, of a blank page. As I sat musing about where to start, or how to frame my piece, I found myself procrastinating. If only procrastination were an Olympic sport, or a skill available for endorsement on LinkedIn, I feel my value in the world would be considerably richer than it currently is, but I digress.
In my daily work, I research new models to support disabled people. I am passionate about the move towards choice and control for people with disabilities.
I consider myself a bit of a magpie; a bit of a scavenger when it comes to research: I’m opportunistic, interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial. My current design research projects are varied; one explores how digital technologies can help people engage with the arts, another is about using design to help the government procure better services, which I recently presented in Helsinki, and another is about the role design plays in innovation. A broad range of projects. All design research. So what’s the relevance of these kinds of projects to social services?
My thoughts so far:
I've always had a passion for the arts - whether it's music, visual art, or performance art. I’ve spent most of my career working in adult social care training and development. I've always said that being a trainer is a bit like being a writer and a performer and that the more you can entertain people when you are teaching the more they are likely to learn.
One aspect of my job is writing the code behind websites. It can be a hugely satisfying job but at the same time a very solitary one, struggling to solve a bug can sometimes take many hours and when solved there’s almost always no one who knows that you’ve been struggling.
One thing that helps me concentrate is listening to music. It’s not that I find the office too noisy or even that I’m easily distracted (which I am really). I just like good tunes.
Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust (THAT) believes in the power of the arts to enhance quality of life, to promote inclusion, to empower and to improve well being. THAT was established in 2002 to meet the demand for an agency to develop Arts in Health opportunities across Tayside and it now employs professional artists to deliver partnership programmes in both inpatient and community settings.
This session was delivered by Jane Bentley who specialises in the role of music making in social development. Jane expertly led the group in a variety of practical exercises designed to highlight how music connects us together. Watch this clip to get a flavour of the key messages and activities from the day.
This Session introduced the Impact Arts creative pathways approach and delivery methods which build confidence, communication and teamwork skills. We reflected on how these processes could be applied in different settings.
This session explored the overlap between creative practice and learning. We shared lots examples of playful research and discussed their impact. We also created the space for people to generate ideas for creative projects in their own area of work.
This session was delivered by Hot Chocolate Trust, a youth work organisation that specialises in supporting young people to develop their own opportunities so that skills and confidence are developed. This session highlighted recent research with young people into the role of creativity and design in their lives.