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The reflection room: Shifting from death-avoiding to death-discussing

Holyoke, Paul and Oikonen, Karen and Rizzi, Katherine and Sethi, Pam (2016) The reflection room: Shifting from death-avoiding to death-discussing. In: Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium (RSD), 13-15 Oct 2016, Toronto, Canada.

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Official URL: https://www.slideshare.net/RSDSymposium/karen-oiko...

Abstract

Thinking about dying and death is something we tend
not to do, and those who promote Advance Care
Planning for the health care in ourlast days, hours and
minutes would like us to do more. However, planning
requires us to think about how we want to live our
final days and then share those wishes with others.
This research proposes the question: How might we
use human-centred design and qualitative research

to go from being a death-avoiding society to a death-
discussing society?

Human beings are storytellers. Understanding complex
challenges through narrative builds empathy. Stories
also trigger the imagination for future possibility. We
propose that providing places for storytelling — and
places for reading the stories of others — might trigger
more thinking and break through the social complexity
that can be a barrier to discussing dying and death.
As part of a year-long research project, we are creating
“Reflection Rooms” – both short-term physical spaces
across Canada and an online website – where people
are invited to write their stories about dying and death
and read the stories of others. We will share emerging
themes from the research and pose the questions:
How might we engage patients and families in shared

storytelling as they navigate decision-making at end-of-
life? How might collective storytelling about dying and

death support the design of human-centred Advance
Care Planning experiences?

At the RSD5 Conference we also propose to set-up
a Reflection Room pop-up for the duration of the
conference and invite people to take a few moments to
reflect on their own experiences with dying and death
and add them to the reflection wall to continue building
the collective story.

Item Type: Conference/Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: Faculty of Design
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2017 20:20
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2017 11:21
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/1923

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