Art Therapy | Pedagogy

Ethical Concern when Applying Drawing for Memory: Research Conducted in Iceland

A quantitative and qualitative research into memory drawing conducted by Ottarsdottir in 2000 is the subject of this chapter. The study was the first comprehensive research that systematically compared the impact of drawing and writing on memory functions. The memory drawing study is therefore a milestone in the history of art therapy, education, psychology and psychotherapy. Memory drawing is a part of art educational therapy which is a therapeutic and educational method invented by the author and discussed in the chapter. The ethical dilemma presented in the publication relates to the SWIPE program in that memory drawing and drawing in general may tap into sensitive emotional material, which might cause further difficulties if the drawing is facilitated by a person who is unaware of the emotional content that may emerge in the drawing process. 

Art Therapy | Pedagogy

Processing Emotions and Memorising Coursework through Memory Drawing

A quantitative and qualitative research, into memory drawing, which was conducted in the year 2000, is reviewed in the article. The results of the quantitative research showed that drawing is effective for memorising. Nine weeks after the original memorisation the children recalled the median of five times more words which they had drawn than ones they had written. The qualitative case study reviewed showed the way in which coursework learning was incorporated into art therapy within a school setting. The results of the qualitative research indicated that memory drawing can help children process their emotions relating to difficult experiences. The research shows that drawing facilitates well-being, memory and coursework learning within an art therapeutic and pedagogic framework. The research findings support the aim of the SWIPE program: to facilitate well-being through the arts and interdisciplinary practices (art therapy, pedagogy).

PDF ATOL: Art Therapy OnLine, 9(1) PDF Italian PDF Icelandic
ATOL: Art Therapy OnLine, 9(1) Icelandic translation (2019) Italian translation (2020)
Art | Therapy

An island of stability: art images and natural scenes – but not natural faces – show consistent esthetic response in Alzheimer’s-related dementia


This publication has researched people with dementia who still have aesthetic sensitivity despite being severely affected in other areas, such as short-term memory loss. So there seem to be neurological skills that are still there, especially in the perception of handmade paintings. The authors speak of “islands” that have a stabilizing effect.

Art | Pedagogy

Elements of Therapeutic Architecture. Workshop SWAIP


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.