Guy’s PhD research is nested in a larger project called ‘Living Well with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)’—a somewhat controversial diagnosis that refers to an intermediate stage between ‘normal’ age-related decline and dementia. The project is a collaboration between the DHW Lab and AUT’s Centre for Person Centred Research, where he is currently employed as a researcher to help investigate the lived experience of people with MCI and their families. With a particular focus on the strategies and supports people with MCI find most helpful, this project aims to develop an interactive online resource for (and with) people experiencing changes to their memory and thinking.
His PhD, by contrast, applies an anthropological lens to the project, looking at how the blurry line between ‘normal’ and ‘pathological’ memory is thought about, managed, negotiated, and resisted across a range of social settings—from memory clinics and dementia research laboratories, to design workshops and family homes. The goal of his PhD (which tacks back and forth between design research and medical anthropology) is to promote critical reflection among key stakeholders during the project, and to deepen engagement between design, health, and the social sciences.