Generative Workshop at Vintage Senior Center

We conducted a generative workshop at Vintage Senior Center. While we weren’t able to conduct all of the methods we designed and while things didn’t go quite as we might have imagined, we still had a lot of interesting insights from the exercise.

Some photos from the workshop

Here are some of the things we found/insights we had:

  • People do not prefer to dwell on anything negative.
  • Taking one day at a time is important.
  • Family is always prominently displayed.
  • People gravitated towards food. Obvious, food is tied to memory?
  • Underneath the good memories is where the bad memories are. Sometimes they connect. But people tend to frame the story as a good memory.
  • Again, there is lots of diversity amongst the population, in terms of ability and circumstance.
  • One participant grew up in Montgomery Alabama, during some of the most tumultuous times in America. She kept her collage mostly positive, but her negative was all about the KKK, religion and politics. The more I spoke with her, she said she doesn’t want to keep talking about the past and remembering those times. That’s why she comes to the center, to get away from that. She doesn’t want to sit around and remember those times, but rather escape them.
  • Some participants were too lost, one participant took over the room and didn’t want to talk about anything negative.
  • Being clean was important to people. (Is that part of dignity?)
  • This group may possibly feel positive because they are being treated with dignity. At this center, they’re surrounded by service and people who care.
  • One participant was very in-the-know about upcoming technology. She has heard about VR (the image of the headsets were a trigger) as well as drones (again, the images). She said she has learned a lot about this stuff from the news and TV.
  • Echoing that, another participant was very aware of what is happening politically. She opened her phone and showed me just how easy it is to get her news and stay informed.
  • One participant had a lot of travel-related images…she loves to travel, she goes on cruises, because a lot of the time it’s very inclusive.
  • When they do crafts at the center, they teach them new things and it’s exciting to learn them…but once they know how to do it themselves, it’s only exciting for a little bit. They haven’t taught them anything new in a while.
  • One woman said she liked making afghans, but has forgotten how to.
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