Category Archives: aging

Dementia Village ‘De Hogeweyk’

De Hogeweyk

De Hogeweyk “Dementia Village” is a remarkably design-oriented facility for aging Dutch with advanced stage dementia. Located in the city of Weesp outside of Amsterdam, the facility houses around 150 residents in 23 small residential units with 6-7 dwellers per unit. Opened in 2012, the village strives to maintain a sense of normalcy for its residents and does so in large part through design. Caretakers wear street clothes. Molenaar&Bol&VanDillen’s master plan includes a Boulevard complete with grocery store, pub, restaurant, theater, and hairdresser. Particularly striking is the interior design throughout – there is no cookie cutter influence of a typical healthcare designer’s pragmatic please-everyone details. Instead, residents can pick from houses each decorated with a distinct and very residential feel designed to replicate a “genre” of lifestyle and create a link to the life they enjoyed outside of the village. These include homey, Christian, artisan, farming, “goois” or upperclass, Indonesian, and cultural. The restaurant and pub would not look out of place in downtown Amsterdam. The facility is owned and operated by a government-owned nursing home group called Vivium. There are also some good images available on the architecture blog Detail.

Mathieu Lehanneur’s “Tomorrow Is Another Day”

French industrial designer Mathieu Lehanneur has made a splash on the blogs this week with his thoughtful techno-jewel “Tomorrow Is Another Day” installation, conceived for a palliative care unit at a hospital in Paris.  From Lehanneur’s website:

Originally intended for the Palliative Care Unit of the Diaconesses / Croix-Saint-Simon Hospital Group, this device eludes the course of time by offering everyone the opportunity to see tomorrow’s sky. Conceived from weather information gathered in real time on the Internet, the luminous – atmospheric and impressionist – image of this sky is diffused through the network of a honeycomb structure, appearing both like a sculpture and a celestial globe.

It’s theoretically sophisticated, with questions of “uncertainty, ineluctability and spirituality” abounding, but it’s also a tranquil little gem that one can gaze at without even knowing it’s acting as a portal to an abstracted version of tomorrow’s sky. The work will be available as a limited edition through the Carpenters Workshop Gallery. It is unclear if the work was ever installed in the hospital.

(via Fast Company’s Co.Design)

Wayfinding for Zurich Retirement Facitlity

A unique wayfinding system by designer Tina Stäheli – Shinohara for a retirement community in Zurich. The designer was careful to point out that it is a retirement home – not a nursing home – so the wayfinding is primarily intended for visitors and not residents, who have a good grasp on the space:

“Our aim was to make the semi-public space of a home for the elderly more private by displaying the information in picture frames. The signage system consists of seven modules of frames which can be combined in different ways. Information for visitors is set in a bigger font than information for the residents.”

It’s a beautiful, simple, forward thinking solution but I’d be interested to see what the residents make of it because it has the potential to be disorienting and difficult to extract information from.

(via swiss-miss)