Design for Dementia Wards

Artwork for healthcare spaces used by those with dementia and other cognitive impairments.



How do you design an environment that is welcoming, reassuring and responds to the specific needs of patients with dementia?

The fantastic dementia team at Southmead hospital wanted to improve their spaces to better support patients, recognising the need to reduce isolation, increase engagement and keep dementia patients safe. 

Our solution included a mix of different artworks to motivate movement, to encourage reminiscence, connection and engagement with visitors and staff.


The large scale artwork 'A walk in the park' encourages movement by providing a stimulating environment and a modest destination for a walk along the corridor.


Artwork using old photos, posters and postcards transforms a bare corridor into a more therapeutic environment that stimulates reminiscence and engagement. 


Entrances to the wards were made warmer, less scary and more inviting with the use of illustration depicting images of landmarks from the local area.


The designs were subject to public consultation. We created an exhibition for the foyer in the hospital, and then worked with the feedback.

The Impact

Hospital spaces that proved warmer, less isolating and scary and more inviting – encouraging movement, stimulating reminiscence and engagement.

who we worked with

Ruth Sidgwick, Fresh Arts

Willis Newson

“Gill and Adrian understand the hospital context. They’re friendly, professional and just so easy to work with!”

Ruth Sidgwick, Arts Programme Manager, Southmead Hospital