Students Devise Products For Adults With Dementia

Anyone who has, or had, a loved one with dementia will want to say “thank you” to the seven student finalists of the inaugural Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge announced today. With any luck, caregivers and families will be able to buy their brilliant creations sometime soon.

Standford, in collaboration with Aging 2.0 (an organization aiming to accelerate innovation to improve the lives of older adults), challenged graduate school and undergraduate students around the world to design products and services that would keep individuals with cognitive impairment independent for as long as possible.

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Winner: Ani Agarian: "Motorics/An Age of Confidence"

An engaging gaming experience teaches the elderly the actions with touchscreen devices that can help them to use any kind of applications available in the market today. The application will support the users' independence and wellbeing.

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Art Plays Starring Role At Kaiser Permanente’s New Oregon Hospital

Posted on on November 5, 2013, by Anne DiNardo, Senior Editor

The importance of artwork in the healthcare environment and its role in the healing process has become more widely accepted over the years. But that still doesn’t mean it’s always part of early design discussions.

Rather, art programs are often addressed later on in the project schedule, maybe even after the drywall is up, leaving art consultants and interior designers to scramble to find appropriate pieces that fit on existing walls and ceilings.

It’s a practice that Janelle Baglien, president, Studio Art Direct (Portland, Ore.), calls “plunk art.” “It’s when the building’s all done and somebody says ‘oh, we have to plunk something here.’”

When art programming, themes, and budgets can be established early on, the benefits can be plentiful, including site-specific installations, color palettes, and works that support the overall interior design package.

At Kaiser Permanente’s new Westside Medical Center, in Hillsboro, Ore., the art program was anything but an afterthought as the owner set out to “make the best patient environment through the use of such elements as daylighting, natural views, and outdoor awareness,” says Willy Paul, executive director, national facilities services northwest, Kaiser Permanente. “Art also plays a big part.”

Kaiser established an overarching theme, “tranquil relief through nature,” to help guide the design of its 38th hospital, which includes a 126-bed hospital and 110,000-square foot medical office building (MOB). Then it hired Baglien early on to procure an art program with AECOM (Minneapolis), which handled the architecture and interior design. Themes were created for each floor, such as forests, water, wildflowers, and mountains/long-distance views, with corresponding wall colors, flooring, carpeting, and artwork.