FADED MEMORY

The book design

The same other world

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a complex neurodegenerative disease, which has become the most common form of dementia in the elderly. AD currently affects about 40 million people worldwide, and the estimated prevalence is expected to be over 115 million by 2050. Thus AD has severe epidemiological and economic impacts on our current society.

I chose this topic because of my personal experience. My grandpa had this disease. Before he passed away, he had illusions, loss of memory and ability to learn, problems recognizing people, and became violent. As time goes by, and now that I have the ability to access information on this disease, and the will to help others given my experience from a family perspective. I wish that I can help people to better understand Alzheimer’s without bias. This disease is an in-curable, long-term disease. Everyone gets older and if one day you or your family gets this disease, what should you do? What should your family do?

We can protect patients through laws and institutions, but I think they need more than just financial help. What they need most is spiritual comfort and understanding. They are not a heavy burden. Only understanding and love can help with patients.

I created some illustration by imagining Alzheimer’s patient’s views, to demonstrate the world they see. The book shows two pictures at the same time, the first one representing the world that normal people would see, the second representing what the Alzheimer’s patient would experience. I also created a story line for my book. Except the story, my guidance book also provides some useful information which will help AD patients’ family to take a better care of them.

Exhibition

Faded memory

My exhibition and my book are completely different. Compared with the transmission of knowledge and information,I hope that visitors can truly build up an emotional connection with AD patients. Therefore, they can use AD patient’s perspective to understand this world. In fact, it is very difficult. No matter how I simulate it, it is impossible to mimic mental disorder and confusion for a normal general public. They have their own thoughts and behavioral patterns, regardless of what they do.

At bedtime one evening, I was rolling around bed while thinking about it. There were countless possible and impossible ideas running in my brain. Suddenly an idea come in my mind as a flash of inspiration.I repeatedly thought about this solution, and I felt this is the ideal ‘build an emotional connection’ solution.

I provided visitors with post-it-notes and three pens for them to choose. When writing down their important memories and pasting them in the ‘brain’ area, I would ask them to check thouse memories after 20 minutes, because one pen is air-erasable pen. After 20 minutes, some random memory will disappear without a trace. Then I will give the visitor heart-shaped pin as a take away. The purpose is to tell them, during this process, although AD patients will gradually forget everything, they will forget who you are and who I am, then they will not forget the feeling you bring to them. the feeling of love will remaining. 20 minutes is to hope that the visitor can become more patient, sharing memory and getting feedback are very effective ways to be touched. Just like my subtitle says, memory is(n)everlasting, but love is everlasting. Life is too short, Do not be hesitate to express your love.