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Compassionate design for dementia care

Treadaway, Cathy; Taylor, Aidan; Fennell, Jac


Cathy Treadaway

Aidan Taylor


One of the most pressing challenges facing designers today is how to create appropriate, useful and safe designs for people living with advanced dementia. Dementia is a complex disease that presents and progresses differently for each individual. This paper contends that co-design with experts, including people living with dementia and their carers, is essential to inform design. Compassionate Design principles are useful to guide the creative process and ensure that concepts are developed that maintain the dignity, personhood and wellbeing of the person living with dementia. The key themes of Compassionate Design are presented through examples of designs for playful objects created as part of the LAUGH design for dementia research. A qualitative participatory co-design research methodology is described along with findings informed by a Live Lab evaluation of the objects with people living with advanced dementia living in residential care.


Treadaway, C., Taylor, A., & Fennell, J. (2019). Compassionate design for dementia care. International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, 7(3), 144-157.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 13, 2018
Online Publication Date Jul 23, 2018
Publication Date Jul 3, 2019
Deposit Date Mar 4, 2021
Journal International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation
Print ISSN 2165-0349
Electronic ISSN 2165-0357
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 3
Pages 144-157
Keywords Creativity; co-design; dementia; compassionate design; care
Public URL
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Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope:; Received: 2018-03-12; Accepted: 2018-07-13; Published: 2018-07-23