The principles of good dementia design have been tried and tested at the scale of the house, and have been shown to be extremely valuable in enabling independence, and reducing anxiety. How do we apply these principles in the urban context and particularly for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness? In this context, what does home look like and how are community connections maintained? What happens when someone has been living independently and then shifts to a shared living environment? How do we offer and maintain independence? How can design support existing mental health conditions?
We explore our recently completed Aged Homeless project at Darlinghurst and discuss what we learnt through this project as we explored design to engender familiarity, pride, and independence for those at risk of homelessness or experiencing homelessness.