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DEMEDARTS Dementia.Empathy.Education.Arts.


Artistic Research on Patterns of Perception and Action in the Context of an Aging Society


DEMEDARTS Dementia.Empathy.Education.Arts. aims to raise empathy for dementia in our society. Our target groups are interested parties, people with dementia, their relatives, caregivers and in particular young people. DEMEDARTS pursues the topic of dementia with a positive, productive and sustainable approach. DEMEDARTS develops educational art- and design strategies and collaborates with national and international partners in the arts, education, therapy, health and care sector.

DEMEDARTS is an artistic research project at the Center for Didactics of Art and Interdisciplinary Education at the University of Applied Arts Vienna.


DEMEDARTS is an arts-based research project, located at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), within the PEEK-program (Programm zur Erweiterung und Erschließung der Künste): A-609 

The project runs from: February 2020 – January 2024


125 million people worldwide live with dementia, 10 million in Europe alone. The number of people affected increases every three seconds and will have doubled by 2050. Personal and social challenges are the result. When tasks such as grocery shopping, money transactions and travelling to unknown places become difficult, people with dementia withdraw from society for fear of rejection and embarrassment. While a third of young people know someone living with dementia, new analysis by the WHO shows that negative attitudes towards older people are widespread and ageism is increasing. Therefore not only those affected, but above all the whole society must be sensitized. DEMEDARTS addresses these challenges with positive, productive and sustainable approaches.



DEMEDARTS is located at the Center for Didactics in Art and Interdisciplinary Teaching at the University of Applied Arts, and collaborates with national and international partners. To strengthen empathic capacities towards people with dementia, an interdisciplinary group of experts develops and shares educational art- and design strategies. The arts-based research project promotes empathy towards dementia in our society on a sustainable basis.


How can arts-based research affect intergenerational well-being of people with and without dementia?


What kind of art- and design strategies can induce a sustainable growth of empathic capacities for people living with dementia?


How can art and design strategies help secondary school students develop a better sense of empathy towards people with dementia? What questions and reflections arise by students of secondary schools, (trainee) art and music teachers on the topic of dementia and how can these be elaborated by arts-based means?  


How can points of contact create and interact with people living with dementia?


How can art and design strategies help students from secondary schools develop empathy for people with dementia?

Which questions do  secondary students and future art and music educators raise? How can these be further developed with an arts-based research approach?


DEMEDARTS includes all arts and aims at the development and integration of empathic skills for dementia at Austrian schools, institutions and workshops for people living with dementia and their relatives. Although it is not yet possible to medically cure dementia, we believe that art and design can help to improve the attitude of people with dementia and of their relatives towards life, and prepare and support them for future challenges.


How can various social groups such as school kids, teenagers and young adults aquire a better understanding towards the issue of dementia, to prepare them for forthcoming challenges?

DEMEDARTS creates sustainable strategies for dealing with dementia in our aging society through:


-       Strengthening empathic skills towards people with dementia

-       Development of educational art- and design strategies for secondary school, people with dementia       

         and their families

-       Promotion of a dementia-friendly society

-       Sensitization and counteraction of ageism (age discrimination)


DEMEDARTS consists of a team of art-, music-, and design educators, artists, multimedia art therapists, authors, designers, performers and somatic researchers. Collaboratively we develop the first arts-based teaching concept to sensitize young people in schools and universities, since there is no school strategy for dementia education through art.

We work with person-centered strategies in schools and in caregiving institutions for people with dementia. These artistic, innovative, pedagogical and art-therapeutical strategies offer new approaches in dealing with each other.

meet the team



Mateus Berr

artist, scientist,

social designer












Alexandra Rusz



MichaelaSchober_Porträt copy.png






Lisas Foto_edited.jpg



art therapist,

research associate

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