Destinations and Directions: Colour and wayfinding for a dementia ward

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Guidelines for the design of dementia care facilities tend to focus on colour contrast, often simplistically interpreted as a contrast in hue. Without the involvement of design professionals, the use of guidelines can lead to homogenous, monotonous and under-stimulating environments. Even as spatial orientation declines as the disease progresses, certain abilities, which allow for navigating space, may remain resilient, and it is accepted that further research on wayfinding using colour and 'landmarks' is required. The paper will discuss a live project for a colour installation within the male dementia ward at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, with reference to the three main user groups: staff, carers and patients. It will suggest that design specificity in response to place and people, supported by knowledge of the potential of colour to modify space, can enhance the everyday lives and well being of long term building users.

Keywords: Colour, dementia, wayfinding, design, live project
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Colour Association (AIC) Conference 2018
PublisherInternational Colour Association (AIC)
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-6484724-0-7
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2018
EventAIC Conference, Lisbon: Colour and Human Comfort - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 25 Sep 201829 Sep 2018


ConferenceAIC Conference, Lisbon: Colour and Human Comfort

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