Art and Culture as Therapy for Alzheimer’s is an innovative initiative from the Dementia Unit at the Hospital Virgen de la Arrixaca in Murcia: opens up the debate about the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) towards a new line of research where the arts join science. The project has offered new paths and forms of stimulation in order to enrich the field of non-pharmacological treatment for AD. Among the aims are: to improve patients’ quality of life and self-confidence; generate a link between the past and the present by creating bridges between existing neurons through emotional memory; to encourage an expression of empathy and to encourage interaction and communication as well as to create new measuring tools for check-up control.
The website offers access to the project’s activities and publications: “The Art of Entretelas” with the painter Chelete Monereo, “Narrating Memories” with the journalist José García Martínez, “Frásagnir minninganna with the writer Þórarinn Eldjárn”, “Murcia Tart” with the pastry chef Paco Torreblanca, “Emotions in Silence” with the video artist Bill Viola, and “MuBAM Alzheimer Project”.
This Final Degree Thesis is the result of the organization and participation in the International Workshop SWAIP (abbreviations of “Social inclusion and Well-being through the Arts and Interdisciplinary Practices”) held last March in the University of Alicante. This proposes to redefine architecture from disciplines such as art, music, therapy or architecture itself, in order to obtain an architectural model that adapts to the conditions and qualities required for the evocation of memories and personal experiences in individuals who live with the disease.
Elements of Therapeutic Architecture completes with this contemporary vision the collection of books Elements of Architecture that the architect Rem Koolhaas published in the Venice Biennial of 2014. Although in those books, the architect talked about the elements in terms of temporal and conceptual evolution without blurring the architectural limit, the extra chapter that adds this thesis shows the qualities that architecture must contemplate as a participant in the fight against Alzheimer.