Dan Smith Design Ltd

DanSmith.Design is a collection of designers based in London, Manchester and Cornwall - creating engaging and unique environments that are accessible and enabling for all users. With a focus on dementia friendly design and evidence based design principles we aim to build environments that are fit for all users of the community. We aim to create fully accessible and inviting high streets; in turn creating truly dementia friendly communities.

Updated:
2 August 2016
Location:
London
Sectors:
Arts, Businesses and shops, Other, Retail, Communication, Education Sector, Recreation, Schools
Local Alliances:
Westminster Dementia Action Alliance, Southwark Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

We have identified at least two major statements from the declaration that we believe we can work towards and contribute towards the positive experiences of people living with dementia and their quality of life.

“I live in an enabling and supportive environment where I feel valued and understood.”

“I know that services are designed around me and my needs.”

After a recent review of our business goals, aims and objectives; along with current policy such as the United Nation's Convention on Human Rights and the Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia for 2020 we are aiming to create accessible environments on the high street and hopefully create dementia friendly communities. 

We have explored the research into evidence-based design for care settings and our Creative Director is currently undertaking a piece of research at Salford University into the evidence base behind design practices for retail environments - hopefully benefiting the commercial design industry in the UK.

All of our staff are Dementia Friends, attend dementia-friendly design seminars and workshops and we encourage all of our suppliers and contractors to attend Dementia Friend sessions too.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

A lot of research and awareness for dementia friendly design is based around care settings or homes, but for communities to be truly dementia friendly we must see beyond our front door. Street design, signage, way finding, as well as the design of shops, restaurants, hairdressers and bus stops must all be considered if we wish to enable people living with dementia the freedom to live safely in their own homes for longer.

2. Actions

  • Raise awareness of dementia among the design community and construction industry

    Promote the Dementia Friends initiative by Alzheimer's Society and encourage suppliers and contractors to attend.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2016 - Second Quarter Update

    New Member

  • Ensure that all staff are Dementia Friends

    All staff working for Dan Smith Design are asked to attend a Dementia Friends session - to give them a better understanding of life living with dementia and how to better communicate with a person living with dementia and their carer.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2016 - Second Quarter Update

    New Member

  • Ensure all staff have read and adhere to the DEEP guidelines for communciation

    All staff are encouraged to read and promote the DEEP guidelines to understand the correct terminology to use when communicating with people living with dementia and their carers.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2016 - Second Quarter Update

    New Member

  • Work with local DAAs and other organisations to improve the built environment through design to create dementia-friendly environments.

    As a design agency our focus is to build dementia-friendly communties. We aim to do this by attending dementia action alliance meetings and talking with local business owners and help to make their business premises more accessible and dementia-friendly.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2016 - Second Quarter Update

    New member

  • The agency will work with the social model of disability as its core belief

    The design agency, will promote through the use of its marketing material and throughout all design decision making processes the social model of disability (Shakespeare 2013). The social model of disability is the belief that the design of a building or environment is what limits somebody from accessing or utilising a space rather than medical factors; thus 'disabling' them.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2016 - Second Quarter Update

    New Member

  • Staff are to remain updated with changing trends, updates in research and advancements in assistive technology

    Staff are encouraged to attend seminars, trade shows and professional talks as aprt of continued professional development.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2016 - Second Quarter Update

    New Member

  • Staff must understand and communicate the importance of evidence based design

    The referral to relevant evidence base to support decision making during the design process is vital to create the most effective dementia friendly environments. Staff will be encouraged to engage with relevant research, as well as keep up to date with changing legislation and advancements.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2016 - Second Quarter Update

    New Member

  • Dan Smith Design will attend or hold charitable events to support those living with dementia and help to raise awareness

    Staff will attend or host events throughout the year.

    Status:

    2016 - Second Quarter Update

    New Member

  • We will carry out a piece of research to benefit dementia-friendly communities

    Creative Director, Dan Smith, is currently carrying out a piece of research with Salford University to understand the design decision making processes and the evidence base behind the design of public spaces. This piece of research will aim to highlight what (if any) evidence base is used or accessible for designers designing shops, bars, restaurants and other businesses on our high streets.

    Status:
    Planning

    2016 - Second Quarter Update

    New Member

  • The organisation will encourage staff to work with schools, colleges and universities to deliver dementia-friendly design classes and workshops

    Staff will be encouraged to educate and inform new designers on the importance and benefits of dementia-friendly design, accessibility and evidence-based design.

    Status:
    Planning

    2016 - Second Quarter Update

    New member