Stirling dementia design expertise recognised in World Report

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Experts from the University of Stirling are playing a leading role in a global report looking at the progress of dementia-related design.

Senior Research Fellow, Dr Alison Dawson, Head of Design Services and Chief Architect, Lesley Palmer, Architect and Researcher and Dr Martin Quirke, who are all based at Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), are among the world-leading researchers and pioneers to feature in Alzheimer Disease International’s (ADI) annual report.

The World Alzheimer Report 2020: Design, Dignity, Dementia: dementia-related design and the built environment will be published today on World Alzheimer’s Day (21 Sept). It looks at design practice to date, best practice, and the leading innovators and entrepreneurs working across multiple environments including home/domestic settings, day and residential care, hospitals, and public buildings and spaces.

The report features three articles authored by the Stirling experts:

  • Long term care and the coronavirus pandemic: a new role for environmental design in a changing context, by Dr Dawson
  • Environmental design education in a changing world, by Lesley Palmer
  • Citizen audits: Developing a participatory, place-based approach to dementia-enabling neighbourhoods, by Dr Quirke

Dr Dawson, who will also feature as an expert speaker at a report launch webinar, said: “The launch of the annual report provides a key forum for those involved in dementia design across the world to share new ideas and disseminate good practice.

“The fact we have been given the opportunity to contribute is a clear indicator that the University of Stirling and the DSDC, are pre-eminent in their field and leading authorities on environmental design for dementia.”

The report will have a global perspective of dementia related design that takes a cross cultural approach, reflects regional and economic differences and low- middle- and high- income countries, and will consider urban versus rural settings. It will highlight the role of innovation, entrepreneurship, and the importance of aesthetics.

It also looks to benchmark against progress made in the physical disabilities movement and demands the same progress is now made in design solutions for people living with dementia, calling for responses to be included in national governments’ response to dementia, including in their national plans.

Other speakers involved in the report’s launch and webinar include:

  • Professor Richard Fleming, the report’s academic lead, who will launch the report and focus on principles, global context and recommendations.
  • John Zeisel, report co-lead, who will focus on innovators in dementia design, making reference to history and experimentation.
  • Kirsty Bennett, an Associate of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) and report co-lead with a focus on the cultural aspects of designing for dementia.
  • Kevin Charras, dementia advocate, who will speak on design, disability rights and the inclusion of the voice of people living with dementia in design development.
  • Wilhelmina Hoffman, M.D., Principal and CEO of Silviahemmet, who will explain the SilviaBo approach, working with IKEA, and Skanska (BoKlok).
  • Dr Ishtar Govia, STRiDE Jamaica, who will focus on low- and middle-income countries, and challenges, barriers, facilitators to incorporating dementia design.