The project so far

 
 
 

We are experimenting and doing research in different ways!

 

our work is led by people with learning disabilities and autistic people and what we find out on our research journey is as important as the research itself.

we work in a flexible way and we are learning new ways of seeing, being, doing and relating.

 

Find out more…

 
 
 
 
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october 2018

 

The team moves in to the hub! a very exciting moment. the core research team (left) work alongside the project team, who you can meet here on the heart n soul website!

both teams include autistic people and people with and without learning disabilities from all sorts of professional backgrounds including art & design, science, health and technology.

 

to mark our arrival we put on our first public event and installation at wellcome collection! robyn, catherine, tilley and pino from the core team hosted a ‘chat up’ event exploring one of the big questions from the project - what is normal?

we met lots of new people and heard amazing and thoughtful answers to the question.

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november 2018

 

the world of research is new to Heart n soul, but we are working with some experienced academics from the core team.

They introduced research ‘methodologies’ to us (different ways of approaching research). we sketched out our own accessible diagrams to help us remember them better.

january 2019

To introduce ourselves to staff at wellcome we set up a live heart n soul radio station in the building and invited colleagues to chat with us on air and request their favourite songs.

we also asked them questions like ‘what makes you happy?’.

February 2019

 

we had a lovely launch party with friends and collaborators. the core team each said something about the project and people came away from the evening feeling inspired and excited about the possibilities ahead of us.

 

participants and artists from heart n soul came in to help us explore ideas around productivity and human value.

we used art, discussion and theatre sessions to get talking about what makes us feel productive and valuable in our lives.

March 2019

 

our first research questions to the outside world! we asked you what productivity means to you and we got hundreds of responses back.

We are looking at the results at the moment and we’ll share what we find out later in the project.

 

we learned a lot from doing our first survey. the process gave us some great ideas for how to build our very own accessible survey website called ‘heart n soul asks’!

we decided it was important for our surveys to feel human and allow us to ask questions directly to the public with videos. we also decided the public should have the choice to respond in different ways, including video, audio and images.

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April 2019

 

Robyn hosted her first music jam in the hub! jams are now a monthly event in the hub for wellcome staff and heart n soul artists and participants.

these events are a chance for autistic people and people with and without learning disabilities to spend time with each other doing something creative. for robyn, ‘This is a place where everyone is equal’.

Part of our research will be studying what happens to everyone’s wellbeing at events like these.

May 2019

 

starting to think about our next research questions on the subject ‘what is normal?’, pino and robyn hosted tea parties, small events where people with learning disabilities and autistic people can discuss what questions they would like to ask the public (and drink tea of course).

pino hosted people from heart n soul, stay up late and camden disability action and robyn decided to host an online discussion with autistic people who either don’t live in london, find social situations hard or are non verbal.

robyn sent everyone their own heart n soul at the hub mug in customised boxes to make them feel really included in the project.

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As well as asking our research questions online, we might ask them in other ways too. Tom and Justin, two collaborators on the project, are developing an immersive installation with special voice technology.

In the installation, a person can see and hear questions and then respond using just their voice, making the experience feel like a real conversation (and less like a survey).

What you can see in the photo is just a prototype, but we hope we will be able to develop the idea further soon!

June 2019

 

Working with the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and artist Ben Connors, four Heart n Soul artists and participants chose something in their lives to redesign for the better.

These included a can opener, the disability freedom pass, hospitals and the tube.

We displayed the ideas at Wellcome Collection for three months in our ‘wall of change’ installation and received hundreds more from the public! We also invited disability groups to imagine what a more inclusive future could look like.

The next step is looking through all the ideas and bringing some of them to life in 3D!

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a new group of co-researchers is formed! Lizzie, Mark, Michaela, David, Donald and Ifeoma self-selected to be heart n soul at the hub co-researchers.

together with the rest of the team, including academics researchers, they will be coming up with questions to ask the public via our accessible ‘heart n soul asks’ survey website.

There is immediately so much to discuss! starting with the question: what is research and why are we doing it?

This feels like a really important moment - people with learning disabilities and autistic people are truly taking the reigns of our research.

July 2019

 

After a few weeks of meeting and talking with the co-researchers, we had so many ideas for what our next questions to the public could be. some are about disability, but some are really broad questions, like ‘are you happy with your life?’.

The next question we ask ourselves is how to ask the questions. with the new survey website we are developing, the possibilities are endless.

Lizzie captured what we want to do really nicely: “We want people to have a thinking experience and enter a different mindset.”

we have started out by filming everyone asking their questions…

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Keep checking on our progress!

You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @HeartnSoulEye…