Studying architectural design in dialogue with dementia edition:1 location:Leuven date:7 April 2014
The growing prevalence of dementia in Europe and worldwide instigates discourses on living and caring environments for people with dementia. There is a large demand for scientific input. However, we found indications that the application of research results in architectural design is not evident. In this article, we explore the information that architects collect to design residential care centers for people with dementia. We aim to identify what renders the application of research outcomes in architectural design more difficult and how research outcome could stimulate innovation in architectural design for people with dementia.
Our exploration is based on interviews with six professional architects experienced in designing environments for people with dementia, and a literature review on the sources, form, and content of knowledge about environment-based strategies for people with dementia.
We conclude, first, that research outcomes often lack information about the physical environment that was studied; second, that the perspective from people with dementia and from architects might bring about innovation; and third, that a reconceptualization of architectural design for people with dementia is needed.