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? No doubt 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 in the design. For example, designing something difficult to use can cause frustration leading to aggression. The article goes through the common behaviours and how to design for them.

Artist view of an exercise room with a big picture of a forest.
Image from the article depicting an exercise room.

The article draws together relevant health information with interior design ideas using person-centred design principles. The researchers developed three residential spaces to address common symptoms. These were and exercise room, a re-regulation room, and a quiet meditative space. The strength of the designs is they do not call attention to differing ability. That’s what universal design is all about. 

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.  

From the abstract

This formative exploratory study looked at person-centred design techniques for a person with brain injury. 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 from the literature. This information provided specific symptoms that were addressed through brainstorming ideations.

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.

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.

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