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2021

TOTEMS – an intergenerational game

MAGDALENA BAJKO-MICHALAK www.behance.net/mgbojko

Project description:
TOTEMS is a_game that integrates generations and activates seniors. Observation of a multigenerational family, grandmother's dementia, the development of a few-year-old niece and their relationship inspired me to create a medium between the oldest and youngest members of the family's life.

TOTEMS consist of blocks created for children – spatial forms – to encouraging the creation and stimulating eye-hand movement, and a universal game for seniors, consisting of a game board and 25 game pawn, designed for everyday mental exercises and for social meetings. The wood used in the project stimulates the sense of touch, teaches the child to learn about the structure and temperature of the material, and in the elderly, it evokes positive emotions related to the memories of old toys from childhood. The graphic design of balls and blocks stimulates abstract thinking and allows players to create many combinations of games. The strong contrast between the wood and the black colour has been used because of the visual dysfunctions of the elderly.

The game evolves while children and seniors play together, when all the elements are used to create the totems. The course of the game depends on the competences of the players, it can be focused on competition or cooperation. The decision is up to the players.

Additionally, TOTEMS have the following values:

  • educational – the game requires concentration, dexterity and strategy from participants;
  • therapeutic – sensory stimulation (wood) affects brain activity, slows down the development of dementia, encourages children to learn about various structures;
  • integrative – during the play, a senior can become part of the children’s imagination, while the child can learn from the adult and has a chance to establish a relationship with grandparents.

TOTEMY is not only a game integrating generations but also commemorating each of them It is a souvenir that brings good memories, passed down from generation to generation.

Bio:
This year's graduate of the University of Arts in Poznań. She completed her diploma in the field of design under the supervision of Dr. Magdalena Grenda. She defended her BA in Fashion Design at the School of Form. Outside the university, she was active in the field of graphic design. She has an interdisciplinary approach to design, using her comprehensive experience. She is most interested in social activities as well as conscious and sustainable design.

Women inspire her. Their relationships, behaviours. She invariably analyzes and criticizes social constructs.

In the future, she would like to publish TOTEMS and hand over the first copies to nursing homes for seniors.