Designing for dementia : providing public spaces for inclusion, enjoyment and wellbeing
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Citation:Wang, C. (2020). Designing for dementia : providing public spaces for inclusion, enjoyment and wellbeing. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Landscape Architecture (by Project)). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4997
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4997
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can public spaces be designed to be friendly for relatively high functioning dementia sufferers? ABSTRACT: Dementia is a syndrome that generally affects people over 65 years of age. Sufferers experiencing dementia lose several survival abilities, such as forgetting their family members and becoming anxious or depressed, as well as losing motor functions. Dementia can be regarded as an intractable disease because currently there is no available treatment for it currently. While the population ages, the structure of Auckland has changed in recent times with the proportion of the elderly becoming significantly larger; concurrently, the number of people with dementia is growing rapidly in Auckland, with the number expected to increase from 10,000 in 2008 to double this by 2050. Fortunately, Auckland Council has identified this issue and recognises the need to provide more infrastructure and services for all Aucklanders including children, disabled people and the elderly. Meanwhile, various organisations support sufferers and their families by different methods. Most research illustrates that people with dementia at the early and mild stages benefit from outdoor activities, and locking sufferers at home does not moderate their deterioration. After visiting public parks in Auckland, I was found that most have not been designed to be “dementia-friendly” and current facilities cannot satisfy the needs of sufferers. This research project aims to design a suitable public space for people with dementia who have essential survival abilities in order to improve their wellbeing, enjoyment and inclusion. After collecting data about relevant cases and summarising research methods, I have chosen the ground of Mairangi Arts Centre as my design site. This site is suitable for this project as it is close to the town centre of Mairangi Bay with a large flow of people and has a larger population of elderly people in comparison to other suburbs. The design project identifies a series of design principles about designing public spaces for sufferers experiencing dementia. The result will improve the quality of life of senior citizens and promote the development of cities and society. People with dementia will be provided with suitable outdoor spaces, and public infrastructure will be improved to meet the needs of more communities. However, this project also has limitations since some principles cannot be applied to all public spaces.