The importance of design and architecture for reducing disability in people who live with dementia has never been so high in the agenda of care providers. At the Dementia Services Development Centre at Stirling University we have research that shows which basic principles make a difference to how independent people can be, and translating that research into action is the next big challenge.
Dementia friendly design is a basic human right for people with dementia. But it also makes life easier for those who care for them. Of course in care home settings there is the advantage of reduced staff costs and reduced adverse incidents, but in the person’s own home the need is just as great.
For more than a quarter of a century the Dementia Services Development Centre has been advising on the changes that make a difference. Now it is time for a change of gear on this issue, the first steps were taken by appointing Lesley Palmer as Chief Architect for the centre in the summer of 2015. Lesley Palmer is an architect and founder of INCH Architecture + Design – a social enterprise design and research practice based in Glasgow. Lesley previously held the position of Studio Director at the Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde and has been a guest critic at several acclaimed schools of architecture including: Bauhaus Weimar, University of Westminster, Glasgow School of Art and Birmingham Institute of Art & Design.
In March of 2016 the team has been expanded with interior designer Lynsey Hutchinson.
Lynsey has been working in the interior design industry over the last 19 years and has experience across most industries including health and social care, hospitality and corporate design. Following graduation from Glasgow School of Art, Lynsey worked on a number of corporate projects before moving practice and gaining experience in the hospitality sector. Most recently, she has worked as lead designer on a number of social care projects for South Lanarkshire Council and Glasgow City Council, including care homes for older people, daycare centres and children’s homes.
Lynsey is particularly interested in helping improve the homes and centres where people with dementia live and visit through interior design informed by DSDC dementia design principals. This area of professional interest began when developing the designs for a drop-in centre in Kilmarnock with Alzheimer Scotland.