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This research explores the use of design tools to co-produce work with individuals suffering from severe addiction issues. The aim is to use creative research activities directly with service users to facilitate discoveries on how individual recovery journeys might be supported and developed.
Data produced from an initial pilot of eight service users uncovered the presence of therapeutic value for the participants who were undertaking the activities. They expressed that whilst challenging, completing the tasks was an enjoyable and engaging exercise, which helped them see where their addiction had taken them.
This pilot highlighted an opportunity to develop a ‘Creative Recovery Kit', which could sew the seed of creativity in a structured treatment setting during early recovery. This tool may then assist in the building of creative confidence and recovery capital, which would allow a smoother pathway out of addiction and reduce the chance of relapse. Encouraging and empowering participants to develop new ways of being creative and embracing their recovery in the local community.
I am a designer, researcher and photographer based in Brighton. My ongoing research interest focuses on the use of design methods from across disciplines to innovate in the field of substance misuse and prototype design tools, which place creativity at the centre of the recovery process. I studied for undergraduate and postgraduate architecture qualifications at the University of Brighton and my final thesis project won an award from the Landscape Institute for social innovation. Currently I am undertaking co-design workshops with support service users at several stages of recovery in Brighton as part of my practice based PhD at Kingston University London. During 2017 I jointly organised a conference with the theme ‘Designing Participation', this brought together a wide variety of arts participation and support organisations to discuss best practice.