Our own ongoingness

Ongoingness: the quality or characteristic of being ongoing and continuing. (Collins English Dictionary)
We have been spending time reflecting on how ongoingness has played out in our own lives and what it means for us to create and curate digital content that can enable dynamic relationships between people – by focusing on our own idiosyncrasies. In response we have all been making sketches, models, short films and artefacts to capture dynamics of this.
We have brought our thinking and ideas together in the first issue of a project magazine that we are using for now as a tool share ideas in the team, develop design methods and examples of ongoingness playing out through digital media – with an eye on how these can be used as we move into the recruitment of collaborators/participants later this year.
We’ll share our first magazine here at a later date – in broad terms the work focuses on the following themes:
  • Our own ongoingness – what this means to us.
  • Volunteering & Capturing elements of our experiences.
  • Developing examples for IoT to support dynamic relationships between family members after death.
  • Imagining scenarios for ongoingness within our lives.
  • Creating ways of engaging with media that are tactile and physical. 
By breaking down our lived experiences and designing scenarios for IoT and digital media curation for ongoingness we aim to better understand some of the complexities of the project and use this understanding as a starting point for conversation within our participatory engagements. 


We’re currently volunteering with a number of our project partners and other related organisations (Cruse Bereavement Care (Newcastle), Sheffcare (Sheffield), Marie Curie and Alzheimer’s Society) in order to spend time with the amazing people with whom they work and to learn valuable insights and ways of working from staff. It is a real joy and we’re experiencing so much.

We are currently helping Cruse Bereavement Care to update their Client Information Sheet.

An ethical framework and roadmap for the project

We are currently developing an ethical framework and a roadmap to thinking through ethical opportunities for projects such as ours where design researchers seek to work with people in a co-creative manner in contexts such as dementia, end of life or bereavement.

(password: ongoing050218)

It is a complex thing to think through, but rich in opportunities and we hope that we can develop resources over the next few months that help people work through their own projects and challenges.

We are being helped by our project partners and others to think through this (i.e. the fab attendees at the Lab4Living Intersections of Practice symposium workshop in September 2017 ‘Where design and health meet ethics: creating an ethical framework for ongoingness’) – thank you all!

Documenting the research process

Through this website we are documenting and sharing the development and detail of a 3 year and 3 month long research project titled Enabling Ongoingness: Content Creation & Consumption in the New Digital Age funded by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) UK.

The project started in June 2017 and has is an ambitious design-led practice-based  engagement  with  older  people,  carers,  people approaching the end of their lives and the bereaved, that seeks to design, develop and deploy a series of objects with digital capabilities that offer new ways for individuals to create content, curate the content that already exists from personal,  social  and  national  archives  (i.e.  television  programmes, tweets, blogposts  and  films)  and  enable  new  ways  to  consume that content that support sense of self and relationships with others in relation to the notion of ongoingness. We aim to reconceive how our digital content can be reappropriated through new tools to give agency to people and make the use of digital media meaningful in old age and in relation to mortality.

We will create a series of magazines as a documentation tool for our research process as the project progresses.

Moira Ricci’s photographs: A dynamic relationship with her mother, after her death.

‘Well I hear the music, close my eyes, feel the rhythm, wrap around, take a hold of my heart’ (Ora sento la musica, Chiudo gli occhi, Sento il ritmo che mi avvolge, Fa presa nel mio cuore) and 20.12.53-10.08.04 are works made by Italian artist Moira Ricci created between 2004 – 2009 following the death of her mother. ‘Well I hear the music…’ is a video piece created from home video footage taken by Ricci’s mother of her at dance recitals as a child and 20.12.53-10.08.04 comprises a series of photographs from Ricci’s family archive each featuring her mother over the course of her life. Ricci altered each photograph to add herself into the image – always at the same age, as an adult, and always looking at her mother (Figures 6 -9). Ricci’s craft has enabled her to manipulate the photographs to create a realistic inclusion of her own image to the variety of different qualities of photograph that make up the work.

Ricci describes the works as a response to her mothers death stemming from her need to both remove the image of her mothers’ dead body from her mind and also to “carry on an external dialogue with (her) mother” (Ricci 2011) – firstly by seeing through her eyes (through the video footage taken by her mother) and secondly by placing herself within photographs of her mother to try to warn her of the accident that would lead to her death. The gaze is central to both pieces; in reference to 20.12.53-10.08.04 Ricci states “I always look at her as I need to tell her about the accident that is going to separate us. You can see from my gaze that I already know what will happen. Unfortunately I remained trapped in the picture, but at least close to her” (Ricci 2011). This body of work we know took place over five years (2004 – 2009) suggesting an ongoing-ness, a developing dialogue and possibly what Silverman and Klass refer to as a continued process of negotiation and meaning making.