As an ethnographic researcher, I use a cultural lens to observe how creative older adults use technology and the arts to stay connected and engaged in their communities.
Ethnographic research is a qualitative method whereby researchers observe and/or interact with a study’s participants in their real-life environment. Ethnography was popularised by anthropology, but is used across a wide range of social sciences.
Current Project – 2021-22 is funded by Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategies Fund, Direct Message is a community=arts project created by and for older adults in Ontario Canada. This team of artists, community members, researchers and designers are working to make the arts more accessible and interactive through digital technology.
We are helping to co-design, develop and evaluate physical devices and digital applications that would make it easy for older adults to access and participate in artistic programs. The team hopes to make this technology accessible and engaging to people from various communities, especially those living with disabilities. We believe that providing virtual access to interactive artistic content and creative practices can help counter social isolation and contribute to healthy aging.
Direct[Message] focuses on intergenerational collaboration, reciprocal learning and knowledge exchange. Our team includes community consultants, artists, researchers, and system designers from Centre  for Artistic & Social Practice, VibraFusionLab, Cinematronics, McMaster University, and Re•Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice.