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Disrupting Cognitive Decline Through Art

Seizing The Moment


Sofia Ozambela, Lauren Cheetham, Vidita Save, Xiaoyun Ren




Cornell University


Product Design, Research, Fabrication, Video editing

This project was developed in a design-thinking course, in which our challenge was to create something to assist older adults with cognitive decline. In older adults, age-related diseases accelerate the rate of neuronal dysfunction, neuronal loss, & cognitive decline, with many persons developing cognitive impairments severe enough to impair their everyday functional abilities. Gradual progression of these symptoms could further lead to neurocognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease & Dementia. "Seizing The Moment" is an attempt is to mitigate the gradual progression of these symptoms through engagement with a creative art intervention. We conducted a literature review on the benefits of art-making for cognitive decline and conducted user interviews with local older adults, leading us to the final prototype (winning the 3rd place in the class).

"Seizing the Moment" is an ergonomic painting system, in which the user creates temporary art pieces with water, and can use the embedded e-ink display to use daily prompts, find reference images, or upload their own reference image. Through this art intervention, individuals with dementia can express their emotions through drawing, offering a non-verbal means of communication. This design aims to safely and comfortably foster creativity and social interaction by encouraging users to share their response to daily prompts with friends and family. Responses to daily prompts could also be used to track and train cognitive function over time. While the system was physically fabricated, the digital system is theoretical. 

initial prototype
GROUP E - Final Report_ Seizing the Moment.jpg
3D renderings of final design
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