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Losing Space, Finding Feelings

Part 1 Dissertation 2021
Brogan Lenihan
University of the West of England | UK
'Losing space, Finding feelings' seemed the most fitting of titles when this work concluded, as in the end, the feelings spaces evoked were more important than the spaces themselves. I had first set out to discover Architectural methods which would aid the wayfinding abilities of those with Dementia; I wanted to find these spaces and understand them. However, as my exploration into the topic progressed, I instead found myself questioning: what do these spaces actually feel like to those with Dementia?

Insofar, research seemed impersonal. Therefore, the dissertation instead set out to explore how space feels by empathizing with those with Dementia. The dissertation is divided into two parts: the first part explores why those with Dementia are more dependent on their environments. The second explores the personal perception of space according to those with Dementia when wayfinding and discusses designs that affect their independent wayfinding abilities. Ethical implications of involving those with Alzheimer's, especially in the global context of 2020-2021, meant a creative methodology was employed. A literature-informed avatar navigates three spaces commonly found in Dementia care homes in the second part.

I hope that Architectural research starts to employ more creative methodologies and empathic approaches, as I found this work most inspiring.

Brogan Lenihan

Fidel Meraz
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