This week saw the start of a two year ESRC-funded project entitled “Dementia Friendly Architecture: Reducing Spatial Disorientation in Dementia Care Homes”. The project, which has been awarded to Dr Jan Wiener (Psychology/BUDI), aims to develop design guidelines for dementia-friendly architecture that minimise spatial disorientation, one of the earliest signs of dementia.
Post-Doctoral researcher Dr Ramona Grzeschik, who started on the first of December, and Chris Hilton (PhD student) will test how different aspects of build environments affect orientation and navigation abilities in people with dementia. In order to do so, they will use cutting-edge virtual environments and eye-tracking technology (https://microsites.bournemouth.ac.uk/wayfinding/) which allows for systematic manipulations of environmental properties.
This international multidisciplinary project brings together researchers from cognitive psychology, dementia research and architecture. It is a collaboration between Bournemouth University’s Wayfinding Lab, BUDI (Bournemouth University Dementia Institute), Northumbria University (Prof Ruth Dalton, Co-I), UWS (Prof Anthea Innes, Co-I) and the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (Prof Wolbers, Prof Nestor, both project-partners).