One of a kind : how can feng shui design principles respond and contribute to a safe and supportive care environment for people with dementia?

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Ho, Adrian Min Fui
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Francis, Kerry
Jadresin-Milic, Renata
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Madeira Lane (Grafton, Auckland, N.Z.)
Grafton (Auckland, N.Z.)
Auckland (N.Z.)
New Zealand
architecture for patients with dementia
dementia patients
feng shui (风水)
health architecture
hospital design
people with Alzheimer's disease
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Ho, A. M. F. (2020). One of a kind : how can feng shui design principles respond and contribute to a safe and supportive care environment for people with dementia? (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
In 2001, there were 48,000 dementia sufferers in New Zealand. This figure increased to 62,000 in 2016 and it is estimated that it will reach 170,000 by the year 2050. Dementia is a progressive disease that leads to gradual changes and an eventual deterioration in memory due to the physical deterioration of the brain tissue, which impacts the individual’s ability to think, behave, and to perform everyday activities. Currently, unfortunately an effective cure is yet to be discovered. In the past, patients would normally end up in hospital facilities and be treated in the medical model of care, which is lacking in personalisation, maximising individual wellbeing, and social aspects, discourages independence and affects the health of the special care setting. Feng Shui has made a significant contribution to design in the Eastern world for centuries and emphasises that harmony between nature and the surroundings enhance human health. It is the primary objective of this research project to investigate how well Feng Shui can help to improve existing conditions and maximise a person’s wellbeing and independence and contribute to architecture to create an ideal care environment for dementia in the urban environment. The focus is to design a dementia facility, a place that prioritises dementia patients to not just live but living as safe and harmonious lives as possible. This is done by incorporating the Feng Shui principles of Yin and Yang, and the five elements, Bagua, Chi, Box within the box principle, the Feng Shui garden, and the ideal Feng Shui Site; which help create a safe, caring and supportive environment, enforce their personhood, encourage social interaction, privacy, connection with nature for health benefits and reduce the impact of dementia. The research starts off on the siting principles of Feng Shui that can help to design a safe and supportive care facility for people with dementia. This is followed by research in the field of dementia and the effect of dementia on the interpretation of spaces. The project demonstrates the Feng Shui principles’ response to dementia needs. The complex meets dementia needs, and then the design of individual units suit the individual dementia patient’s needs. Site: Madeira Lane, Grafton
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