Cura

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M AY

2018


‘ to care ’ Latin (noun)

CONTENTS 3 4 10 16 22 27

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user discover interpret evolve deliver review


CURA

USER

Based on conversations with dementia patients - particularly my own grandmother, Indeg Harris - CURA provides visual aids to ease naviagation in care homes.

USER

BRIEF

Able to be independent but with necessary guidance.

To proudce a wayfinding system for people with dementia living in a care-home setting. Applicable to both inexpensive and high end homes.

Mild dementia sufferer.

Is forgetful, but hasn’t lost identity. Target age: non-specific. Sophisticated for younger dementia sufferers.

This will demonstrate and improve the following:

Routine centered.

Navigation Independence Comfort Socialising

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CURA

DI SCOV E R

I N TE RVI E W Discussion with my grandmother, Indeg Harris. Aged 86, living with dementia.

What kind of Dementia do you have? Vascular Dementia

When were you diagnosed with Dementia? How has it developed?

I was officially diagnosed 18 months ago (2016), but was showing signs before that. I have mild to mid dementia. I am able to live on my own, but my carer - my daughter - helps me to carry out challenging activities like shopping and medication.

What do you struggle with due to your Dementia?

Remembering in what time frame I did something. For example, determining whether something I did was yesterday or a week ago. I have the least clarity in the morning and evenings. Remembering where I put something. Not being able to maintain my independence can get me down.

Why have you chosen to stay at home and not be at a care home?

Aside from unnecessary cost, I want to stay in a homely and familiar environment for as long possible. I have found care homes are either too sterile or dingy.

Do you find there is a trigger that worsens or helps your Dementia?

Associating a memory with an object or image helps it. Information being repeated in the same format again and again, with no differences between varying information is really difficult.

What issues do have with your caregiver?

Keeping my independence and not relying on her completely. Having my carer around me a lot, or just a phone call away has made me more and more dependant on her without realising. It can be too easy to let someone else do something for you. Subconsciously you take advantage of others kindness.

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Do you have any systems in place now to help you remember things?

I have a pill machine that allocates me medication at certain times. I have lived in a small flat for a long time so I don’t have any issues navigating or forgetting my home routes. However, wayfinding in places I’ve never been to before is difficult, I wouldn’t recognise a path I’ve taken if it didn’t have any stand out features along the way.

Do you notice any misconceptions of Dementia you would like to remove?

I’m not aware of any as it’s not something I have experienced from all perspectives. Although, I wouldn’t like the post-it note system, nor do I like people talking to me simply. It is patronising, whilst some things tend to be difficult to remember, talking to or designing for me like a child isn’t going to help me remember any quicker.

Is there anything that makes you apprehensive about the potential of moving into a care home? Yes, I worry it won’t have any personality - I don’t want to be in a non-interactive space with varying block colour walls. I want to be in a space that looks like it’s been lived in and has stories to inspire conversations.

What do you do to keep your mind active?

I enjoy reading the newspaper and doing the crosswords. I watch a lot of documentaries and do jigsaw puzzles with my family. I like gardening. I enjoy my own time, however if I was to be in a care home I would really like to maintain that independence and still be able to garden.

Do you like modern design or design of your generation? How does design impact your mood?

Personally, I don’t mind either as I have lived to experience both.

But, modern design tends to be more minimalist and bright, which does increase my mood because it’s not too busy and it’s fresh. I like it when its features are sentimental to the person, and so for me this would be the dated part of the design.

Have you visited a care home? How did you find the experience?

I’ve yet to visit a care home specific to Dementia and permanent assisted living. I did visit Elmbridge residential homes which provides help should I need it, but I can see it wouldn’t be appropriate for me now with Dementia. What I did like about the place though was it was very communal and was set up to provide social hubs and interaction with residents.

Would you be prepared to spend more money on a care home if it had a more elaborate approach to wayfinding than, for example, just varying wallpapers? Maybe, I don’t like the idea that a more comfortable experience should cost more money - it should be comfortable anyway! Though, I would pay more money to have a more dynamic experience, and not feel as though I’m looking at just bright, intense wallpapers. I understand some approaches may take more money to install.


CURA

DI SCOV E R

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CURA

WAY F I N D I N G

The #rainbowcrossing was made during a workshop with Marten Sims. From observational research I could see the zebra crossing at university wasn’t being used correctly - students would walk across the road before due to it being quicker, making road safety a secondary concern. So, I produced a bright crossing in the used route that would be seen by students and cars, but also attached it to the celebrations of the day - Gay Pride. This was a great way of making a wayfinding system memorable and efficient.

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DI SCOV E R


CURA

DI SCOV E R

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CURA

SPICER COURT, BH2 5TQ Whilst Spicer Court is bright and looks like its been recently built, its interior decorating is not suitable for its residents. It is clear they have attempted wayfinding by painting the walls bright colours, however this isn’t homely or comfortable. There is nothing to establish a residents bedroom, and with clear walls, there is no personality; making for a sterile design. The notice board is covered with information, the clutter makes it incredibly difficult for residents with dementia to decipher information easily. The signage isn’t clear and with no icons it can be difficult to navigate.

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DI SCOV E R


CURA

DI SCOV E R

M AG G I E ’ S , M 2 0 4 Q L Maggie’s Centre isn’t a Dementia care home, however I’ve used this as market research since it similarly serves as a ‘home away from home’ for cancer patients and their loved ones whilst providing professional support. Designed by Foster and Partners, the calm nature provides rest and comfort. Each area has a dominant feature, making wayfinding easy as they can be used as markers for a route, for example the large wood-burner, and the immersive greenhouse dining. Keeping the building neutral provides a calm base, whilst the accessories make the tone bright and fresh. Having seating area’s located throughout the centre encourages socialising with anyone walking by, making a patients route more engaging. Memories can be created as they walk to their destination allowing an individual to also form their own wayfinding system.

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CURA

IDEA .01

Feature wall at the end of a corridor. Each area has a separate theme. As the individual walks towards the feature the walls either side increase with corresponding imagery. Interactive, for example people can help look after the plants.

IDEA .02

An electric band is programmed with the person’s schedule. As soon as they enter the bluetooth zone the band is notified (e.g. 2 meters before turning). Bluetooth connects with the calendar to produce route. Notification pops up on wall until person exits the area. Temporary so can be used by lots of people.

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INTERPRET


CURA

INTERPRET

M A P P I N G A S PAC E Initially I wanted to work with colour due to my research so far being the poor attempts of using bright colours plastered across a wall as a navigational system. I wanted to improve on this and use colour in a more sophisticated and dynamic way. I started with mapping a building, separating each area by colour, as the individual walked through their section imagery and objects associated with the colour would be seen. However, I realised that this was too complex for a large building and that tones of colours would blend area’s making navigation more difficult. Although, I kept the idea of making area’s of the care home themed.

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CURA

MOOD BOARD Warm, rich tones. Simple bright colours. Minimalist. Sophisticated.

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INTERPRET


CURA

INTERPRET

home is where the heart is

- Pliny the Elder

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CURA

MID REVIEW Drawings showcasing my designs so far. Whilst I am pleased with the outcome of these, I found that the themed wallpaper was too intense for a calm space. Instead I would place this imagery in frames and use them as markers along the walls to help determine routes for residents. The memory boxes on the doors help the residents to establish their bedroom and also allows them to create conversation with their neighbour about their experiences. Interactive features, like the aquarium and the plants, give residents a sense of responsibility and a homely feel to the building. To improve my designs further, I will change the colours of the doors as they are too overwhelmingly bright especially accompanied with the memory boxes, and instead make just the numbers change colours.

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INTERPRET


CURA

INTERPRET

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CURA

COLOUR & LIGHT Improving upon my designs, I wanted to work with shadows. Whilst I was hesitant to do this as I didn’t want it to be: depressing, or alarming at night, or have double meanings to life and death; I thought it would be a really natural way to include shapes and imagery. I wanted it to appear as if the light from the window was casting pretty shapes on the wall. The shadows of water, crystals and plants provided really nice imagery. Editing the shadows to be in colour made this idea more enjoyable than potentially sad. I also played around with the focus and colour of objects, using colour combinations not associated with the object would be impressionable and could make navigating memorable.

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E V O LV E


CURA

E V O LV E

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CURA

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E V O LV E


CURA

E V O LV E

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CURA

S PAT I A L / D E S I G N P L A N

Looking at my concept as a whole was crucial in determing whether I was answering my brief properly. Seeing it all come together I concluded that the markers and navigational panels complimented eachother well, but the colourful doors needed to be muted as it’s overwhelming against the markers.

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E V O LV E


CURA

E V O LV E

U S E R F E E D BAC K

I placed my markers around my user’s home to see how she interacted with the designs and concept. Indeg responded with: The simple images are striking and look nice in my home. They need to be brighter because in dimly lit area’s they weren’t as noticeable. It was helpful to know my keys were by the plant picture. I also asked Indeg about my other idea’s to which she liked the navigational panels as it was really different and a clever way of seeing a route infront of you. Indeg particularly liked the memory boxes and that it was visible to everyone because she likes to see what people have been up to. She also liked how it was something that could be updated which would be fun to do with friends and family.

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CURA

MARKERS

These markers are designed to be used at entry and exit points so residents associate an image with a certain point on their route. They are designed to be placed in frames as this is more likely to be seen in a home, although could be printed larger to cover a wall - perhaps for a lower cost care home. Bright, colours make the image quick to see and fresh to lift the mood. The simple close up shots make a minimal style and thus isn’t overwhelming or too complex for the resident.

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DELIVER


CURA

DELIVER

F E AT U R E S

Including features at the ends of hallways or in large social spaces, like Living or Dining Rooms, is a lovely way to keep conversation flowing between residents as they discuss how their plant maintenance is, or who’s learning to play piano, or who fed the fish. Each feature will be themed to it section. I expect this to be used in a high cost care home as it can be expensive to acquire and maintain the features. The fronts of bedroom doors are important as residents can forget which door is theirs, or even what is behind the door. Using memory boxes triggers the residents idenitity. It is also a great way of making conversation and getting to know your neighbours better. Using bright colours selectively on the door also helps residents to identify their room.

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CURA

DELIVER

SY M BOL S Developing symbols for a wayfinding system was important for this project because whilst the interior design is influential in remembering a place there needs to be navigation pointers to aid newcomers or those confused. I have kept the imagery very simple and true to form to ensure no confusion, and have allocated a different colour to each symbol in the hope that overtime it because instinctual.

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KI TC H E N

DINING

BEDROOMS

GARDEN

LAUNDRY

T R E AT M E N T ROOM

TOI LE T

LO U N G E


CURA

DELIVER

MAP/GUIDE GENERAL F E AT U R E

WING WA L L

N AV I G AT I O N A L FLO R A L

WING

PA N E L

WA L L

(RESIDENTIAL)

E XI T/ W I N DOW MARKERS WAT E R

WING

(RESIDENTIAL)

ENTRANCE

Exemplar map Navigational panel wall to always be on one side of a corridor to direct residents. Markers placed on each path entry/exit so residents can associate the markers to a route. Feature walls used for resident interaction - this is interchangeable with a marker in a lower cost care home. Examples being a living wall or aquarium. Each residential wing has a theme to make homes more memorable, types of markers and feature walls to be chosen accordingly.

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CURA

N AV I G A T I O N P A N E L S

These navigational panels are designed for an upmarket care home. From the front they look like normal panelling - its calm to the eye, but it being raised creates a texture that ensures it isn’t plain or sterile. As you enter the corridor and look ahead the raised panel will form an instruction, directing you to the next area. Only from a side perspective is it visible. It has another instruction on the other side also.

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DELIVER


CURA

DELIVER

CRITICAL REVIEW Overall, I am really happy with my final outcome. The feedback from my user was great and the tone of the designs is fresh and calm whilst still involving personality. The navigational panels were a concern as I was worried elderly people wouldn’t be able to make sense of it, however having tried the prototype on my user it was legible for her, and having changed it afterward to have a bright colour against the writing made it stand out more so. The photographic markers are really striking and very successful, whilst its dependant on the individual as to whether they work, they were really enjoyed by my user. Despite her not being in a care home to use them, she has asked for them to be used in her home. Using memory boxes on the doors adds the personal touch a care home needs to feel homely. And the interactive features, as well as just seating placed around the building, also helps to spark conversations and feel a sense of responsibility. I have several components to my wayfinding which therefore could be considered as multiple systems, however I approached it as a redesign of a care home and all of these concepts would better the navigation of the home. Combined I think they work well and provide a comfortable and interesting place for dementia patients to live. Whilst it seems like a lot, the colour palette is bright but should be placed only where needed in order to not overwhelm the resident. The most dynamic feature, the navigational walls, aren’t too intense for a dementia patient since the colour can only be seen from the side as you enter and not directly front on. To improve my project further, I would like to go into more depth with the navigational panels and figure out mathematically how I could optimise its potential and make it’s ‘illusion’ visible from several angles and not just one. As for the design of the process book, I chose to present it as a newspaper as it has a nice connection to my elderly users. I kept the layout simple to highlight the colourful imagery. I used a 6 column grid which divided the page well, I did break from my 3 column grid text for page 4 due to the large volume of information, otherwise in smaller quantities it proved effective. Overall, having the content presented in a large scale optimises its legibility and aesthetic.

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Celia Vandersteen Innovate: Consolidate BA(Hons) Graphic Design Arts University Bournemouth May 2018


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