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Around the world, there will be one new case of dementia every 3 seconds. 152 million people are worldwide living with dementia in 2050, by then 2 billion people will be over 60 years of age. There are negative attitudes towards elderly people and ageism is extremely common. Young people often know somebody in their families with dementia and most of the time do not know how to handle it. This project designs the first arts-based schooling strategy for empathy for people with dementia, creates a dementia friendly generation, age-friendly environments, supports young people to understand dementia. Objective of the project is to develop artistic strategies to strengthen empathic abilities with arts-based methods & interdisciplinary collaboration between people with & without dementia. Stress is a daily challenge faced by family caregivers working with people with dementia, isolation became another demanding situation. Isolation has an impact on health, therefore workshops were designed for caregivers and students in quarantine to engage in the questions ‘How can art-based research affect intergenerational well-being of people with dementia and students? And ‘How can these means encourage the handling of the topic dementia?’

Arts & Dementia

Interdisciplinary Perspectives



Dementia is a term that encompasses a wide range of symptoms. In Europe alone about 10 million people live with dementia. Where health policy and medical approaches reach their limits, art and design strategies can open up new perspectives for people living with dementia – in terms of their abilities and circumstances and their social environment.
This interdisciplinary handbook is aimed at people working and researching in the field of dementia. It offers insights into the possibilities and limitations of artistic and art-related interventions in relation to dementia. This publication brings together contributions from the disciplines of design, architecture, and art, music, and museum education, providing a variety of insights into this multifaceted syndrome.
Interdisciplinary research on arts and dementia
New perspectives from social design, museum education, sound art, and architecture
Art and design interventions to improve individual situations and the way society deals with dementia

D.A.S. Dementia. Arts. Society.

Artisic Research Project


Exhibition Catalog

D.A.S. Dementia. Arts. Society. aims to address the challenges dementia poses to our society via the potentials offered by art and design. This arts-based research project hopes to raise public awareness of the situation faced by people living with dementia, and to contribute to giving those people new perspectives on their abilities and social environment.

Teaching Empathy for Dementia by Arts-based Methods



The research-project “D.A.S. Dementia. Arts. Society. Artistic Research on Patterns of Perception and Action in the Context of an Aging Society,” funded by the National Research Funds FWF (PEEK) of Austria is based at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. It aims to apply artistic interventions to diverse target groups in order to evoke empathy towards the sensitivities of people with dementia. Young people (10-11 years old), were encouraged to participate in audio-and performance-based artistic interventions during their art lessons in school. The objective was to analyze the potential children have to empathize with people with dementia. How - verbally and via drawings - do they describe an experience that simulates the sensual perceptions of people with dementia? Analysis of their verbal and artistic descriptions of the experience provides insights into the word choices and artistic methods of young people. Interpretations of drawings have been made in different manners over time: they borrow strategies from social sciences, psychology, psychoanalysis, Gestalt psychology, the psychology of perception, art history, linguistics, art therapy, art education, and so on. The author used image-hermeneutical approaches. Especially interesting was the presentation of confusion and disorientation by youth within a short time frame.

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