By Saeed Salimi
Dementia shows us human existence without any decoration. We see it is heartbreaking, fragile, and delicate in all details. And we see more similarities than differences with our lives than we might imagine. We all are familiar with sadness, joy, fear, despair, depression, and happiness. People who have dementia feel the same way. Sadly, emotions confuse them and us. ‘Persona’ is a project that adopts multiple design strategies to convey a better understanding of dementia to (in)formal caregivers. Formal and informal caregivers play a major role in caring for people who have dementia, these caregivers however, frequently face great strain from care, stress, and have an increased risk of depression and anxiety. Their psychological distress is mostly caused by the shifting nature of dementia and its complexity. Centered around scientific studies, insights from primary caregivers, specialists, designers, and in collaboration with artists, this project aims to create an immersive experience to cultivate empathy, improve competence and alleviate psychological distress, and in doing so, humanize the disease and embrace the fragility of the human mind.
Saeed is a socially aware visual designer and researcher with a multidisciplinary background. Academic and practical artistic education within the fields of visual arts, and design has sharpened his understanding of the discipline of visual communication. His approach is grounded in research and insight, as well as experimentation and use of creative methodology. He is interested in rethinking and reimagining scenarios which alter our perception of the world. He completed his Bachelor's degree in photography at LimKokWing University in Malaysia, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in visual communication design at the faculty of fine art, music and design at the University of Bergen.