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The Map of Me:

my travelling wardrobe

My travelling wardrobe

‘The Map of Me: My journey through clothing.’  is work in progress. It looks at how one’s sense of self and personhood can be supported and sustained through clothing, in particular, it explores the ways in which clothing can draw attention to moments of personhood constructed by the persons’ lived experience. The project seeks the potential held within that construct, to further deconstruct and reconstruct personhood through the stories of lived experience attached to a ‘sense of self’ particularly for people living with dementia and their carer/family members.

label marie

An co-designed embroidered label depicting who the person is.


I use illustrative drawing as a reflective practice to enable a deeper subconscious engagement with the participants. Drawing has enabled me to uncover particular moments of knowledge, which were often intangible until visually represented. By visually representing the ‘Map of Me’ for each of the participants with dementia, it has also enabled them to explore their own personhood and lived experience in a non linear and iterative co-design process.

The insights which I have gained through the use of illustrative drawing were integral to the design of the methodology and the ‘Map of Me’ intervention as a whole. For example, by visually representing Ulrich Neissers five senses of self, (Neisser 1988) it enabled me to begin to comprehend the non-linear nature of self and how cognitive decline can enable timelines and sequences of events to exist in an interchangeable space. The method looks at the contents of participants’ wardrobes and the photographs of participants wearing particular items of clothing, and considers them as  custodians of embodied personhood which are in a state of repose until released back to the participant.

This is a simple intervention in an existing lived system rather than a process which sets out to change the participants’ way of interacting with the world.



Illustration: My cherished garments.

Map of Me Drawing

The Map of Me: My journey through clothing

Illustration: The Map of Me: A Running sense of myself through time.

Shoes and bathing suitIllustration: ‘The wooden bathing suit stretched down past me knees and I was always the girl with the red shoes’


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