Researcher

Dr Gail Kenning

My Expertise

My expertise is in the area of arts and design engagement, psychosocial wellbeing and exploring how creativity supports mental and physical health. Specifically in the area of immersive media and emotion. My particular focus is in the area of ageing and dementia.

Keywords

Fields of Research (FoR)

Visual arts, Design

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Biography

Dr Kenning’s recent work is located at the intersection of art, design, technology and creativity exploring how these contribute to physical and mental health and psychosocial wellbeing, with a particular focus on ageing and dementia. Her research and practice explore creativity from three perspectives:

  1. How creativity can support and facilitate health and wellbeing (e.g., contributing to social engagement, connection, mental health, etc.);...view more

Dr Kenning’s recent work is located at the intersection of art, design, technology and creativity exploring how these contribute to physical and mental health and psychosocial wellbeing, with a particular focus on ageing and dementia. Her research and practice explore creativity from three perspectives:

  1. How creativity can support and facilitate health and wellbeing (e.g., contributing to social engagement, connection, mental health, etc.); and
  2. How creative approaches can be applied in the collection of data to better understand the concerns, needs, and embodied lived experience of elderly people in relation to physical and mental health and social engagement/disengagement and connection/disconnection. Creative approaches can include participatory creative workshops and deliberative discussion, storytelling, and creative making.
  3. How creative engagement offers transformative potential

Dr Kenning is experienced in organising and facilitating deliberative discussions, creative workshops, and seminars as part of research and participatory engagement.

Combining her background in art practice, academic research, and industry and community engagement, she also consults to industry, arts health organisations, and government on design of health and wellbeing programs; use of digital media, systems and software; and evaluation of health and wellbeing programs.


My Grants

  • 2021
    • ADA Faculty Seed funding, UNSW. A co-design approach to addressing fear of falling and related activity avoidance in older adults
    • Ageing Futures Institute Seed Funding, UNSW. A co-design approach to addressing fear of falling and related activity avoidance in older adults working with War Memorial Hospital
    • Woollahra Municipal Council. Immersive Experience of Nature: bringing the outside in
  • 2019 Ageing Futures Institute Seed Funding, UNSW. Extending the visual matrix: Using inclusive psychosocial engagement and qualitative data generation and evaluation to understand optimal ageing 
  • 2016 - 2019 Led or directly involved in gaining almost $250,000 in research funding in the past 5–6 years for her own research work (not including major collaborations and consortiums) including:
    • Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) ;
    • New South Wales Government, Department of Family and Community Services ‘Liveable Communities’ grant 
    • The Whiddon Group, NSW, Australia ‘Making It Together’ ;
    • Woollahra Municipal Council, Sydney;
  • 2015 - 2019 Engaged as a researcher on a major internationally funded projects including:
    • International Co-Investigator on a £500,000 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) project in the UK led by Professor Cathy Treadaway from Cardiff Metropolitan University (2015–18);
    • Senior Researcher on projects funded by the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) [Netherlands Organisation for Scientific research] working with Professor Elise van den Hoven, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) (2018–19);
  • 2018 Contributed to successful research grant applications including a €250,000 ZonMW grant awarded to University of Technology Eindhoven (TU/e);

My Research Activities

2021          

             Lead CI A co-design approach to addressing fear of falling and related activity avoidance in older adults funded ADA, UNSW (Gail Kenning, Volker Kuchelmeister, Prof, Kim Delbare - Advisor Scientia Professor J Bennett) partnering with War Memorial Hospital; 

Lead CI working with fEEL team DTV (Dementai TV) – developing screen-based digital human companions. partnering with New Horizons ;  

 Lead CI A co-design approach to addressing fear of falling and related activity avoidance in older adults funded Ageing Futures Institute, UNSW (Gail Kenning, Volker Kuchelmeister, Prof, Kim Delbare - Advisor Scientia Professor J Bennett) partnering with War Memorial Hospital; ;working with War Memorial Hospital

2020   

Co- CI   Co-CI Immersive media explorations of the felt experience of emotions in the body. fEEL (felt Experience and Empathy Lab), University of New South Wales (as part of Scientia Professor Jill Bennett ARC Laureate); 

Co- CI Intergenerational Integrate Project. Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), University of New South Wales (as part of Dr Ruth Peters, Ageing Futures Institute Awards)

2019   

Chief Investigator (CI), It feels like home, Woollahra Municipal Council – Community engagement with mature citizens to understand their concerns and anxieties in relation to ageing;

CI Extending the visual matrix: Using inclusive psychosocial engagement and qualitative data generation and evaluation to understand optimal ageing (Gail Kenning, Fiona White, Natasha Ginnivan, et al.), Ageing Futures Institute, UNSW; 

Co-CI, Empathetic Care Spaces: Retrofitting Care Environments to Promote Social Connection, Meaningful Engagement, and Support Wellbeing for People Living with Dementia with Associate Professor Nimish Biloria, UTS ( funded by Leigh Place, Sydney);

CI, Creativity in aged care, connection, engagement and environment, Leigh Place, Sydney;

CI, PAUSE: Engaging with Art and Creating a Time and Space for Self-care, Palliative Care NSW;

Co-CI Phenomenological and Embodied Experience Associated with Ageing in Older Adults, fEEL (felt Experience and Empathy Lab), University of New South Wales; Co-CI Course of Empathy, Empathy App, fEEL (felt Experience and Empathy Lab), University of New South Wales

2018   

CI, Soundplay for Wellbeing, University of Technology Sydney; 

CI, Arts Access Program for Liveable Communities in partnership with the Art Gallery of NSW;

2017   

Co-CI, ABC analysis of diversity in content, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC);

2016   

Co-CI, (International) LAUGH: Ludic Artefacts Using Haptics and Gesture –  £500,000 funded Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) project with Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wales;

            CI, Making It Together, design research on creativity and craft for ageing and dementia in suburban and regional Australia;

CI, Evaluation of Art Gallery NSW Art Access Program;

Co-CI, Care through co-design, Centre for Contemporary Design Practices, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building (DAB), UTS in partnership with Lutheran Services;

Research Associate, Evaluation of the Stoner Sloth Cannabis Awareness Social Media Campaign, Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Government;

2015   

CI,        Person-Centred Activities Coffs Harbour (PACH) research of creativity and craft for ageing and dementia;

2014   

CI,        Hand i Pockets, design research exploring maker practices in participatory design for people living with dementia;
Research team member, Sensory E-Textiles, collaborative design research project with Prof Cathy Treadaway, Cardiff Metropolitan University;
Research team member, Dementia aprons, collaborative design research project with Prof Cathy Treadaway, Cardiff Metropolitan University;
Research assistant (RA), Generally Accepted Practices (GAP) Study of public relations – international industry sponsored report;
RA, Which Media Set the News Agenda: Mass Media or/and Social Media? Industry report for Isentia;

2013   

CI,       Crafting Wellbeing investigating craft activities and digital media technologies for health and wellbeing, focussing on ageing and dementia;

My Engagement

In my work I engage with a range of project patterns including Art Gallery New South Wales, War Memorial Hospital, Leigh Place aged Care, New Horizons Aged Care, Woollahra Municipal Council and councils and aged care facilities across the greater Sydney area.

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Videos

Art and Dementia: Arts engagement for Liveable Communities
These Walls Could Talk. https://gailkenning.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/twct-report-unsw.pdf