Parkinson's Oxford and DistrictParkinson's UK

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In Control By Design - a fascinating collaboration

About the project

Julien Carponcy describes this intriguing and very unusual project involving members of our Branch and other people with Parkinson's, together with a diverse and hugely stimulating group of other participants:

In Control By Design

This project is a collaboration between people living with Parkinson's, researchers at Oxford University's MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit and the Pitt Rivers Museum. The aim is to work together to try and create one or more objects that could be helpful in coping with some of the everyday challenges of living with Parkinson's. A key part of this project is about empowering those affected by Parkinson's to guide decisions on the objects created together, based on their interests and knowledge, as well as on the skills of the researchers, Museum staff and a project artist/designer.

Is this a Research Project?

No. This is a collaborative project which aims to explore a different kind of engagement between researchers and communities, one that none of the participants have tried before. We hope that we will design together object(s) which people find helpful, but this project is as much about the process as it is about the result.

Why the Museum?

The Pitt Rivers Museum is a museum of comparative technology, showing technological solutions to myriad and seemingly universal problems faced by people from across the globe and throughout time. In this project, we will use the museum's collections to reflect with participants on design solutions that adapt movement and aid health from other cultures and from other time periods. We'll use these explorations of 'alternative' technological solutions to health issues to stimulate discussion, new ideas, and inspire us...


The project is organized as a series of six workshops involving all participants. As each takes place we will put information about it here.

Other outcomes

Building links across disciplines

The project has developed personal and professional links among the participants, helping each of us to understand better the concerns and motivations of the others.

Library of objects

The project has created a collection of interesting objects and gadgets that may be able to help with daily living for people with Parkinson’s. These objects now form a lending library so that PwPs can try them out at home without cost. This should allow us to evaluate aids (some of which are quite expensive) before deciding whether to purchase. You can find more about the lending library at this link.

Online resources

So much valuable information and experience was shared during the project that we also hope to be able to create an online resource of “life hacks” - hints, tips and recommendations based on PwPs’ lived experience and their creative ideas. Watch this space for further news.