Interior design for brain trauma

A set of technical drawings with a set square and pens sit on a table top. Dementia and autism have received a lot of attention in the design world, but what about people with brain injury? I suspect some of the design solutions are similar. Using a human centred approach an exploratory study looked at developing a prototype home that could address common symptoms of people traumatic brain injury. The idea is to minimise negative feelings and behaviours. The title of the article is, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and the Built Environment. It lists design measures for different symptoms. The article is technical in parts, but the background, findings and conclusions provide some interesting reading. Also good for those involved in Specialist Disability Accommodation

Anyone involved in dementia and autism studies relating to the home environment should also find this interesting. Health practitioners who know about the health side of things, should find the home design ideas useful. The authors from University of Nevada conclude that “The strength of these designs is that they do not call attention to a differing ability,…” That’s also what universal design is about.

Abstract  Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) are often connected to the development of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease commonly found in athletes, military veterans, and others that have a history of repetitive brain trauma. This formative exploratory  study looked at person-centred design techniques for a person with CTE. The person-centred design method used for this study was based on a two-tiered reductionist approach; the first tier was to identify common symptoms and concerns associated with CTE from the literature. This information provided specific symptoms that were addressed through brainstorming ideations. Each singular ideation accommodated the singular, or small cluster of symptoms, that affected a person with CTE in a residential environment. This method of understanding a health condition through its symptoms, and then designing for those symptoms can extend the practice of interior design by providing probable solutions to specific health symptoms, thereby including designers into the healthcare team. Commonly identified behavioural and physical symptoms of CTE served as the factors of analysis and thus a variable of design. The health condition symptoms became the variables of design, and each symptom was assessed through additional data obtained from the literature for environmental causality, mitigation, or accommodation. Once the outcomes were determined, each design implication was assessed for its relationship to specific design actions.