Dementia friendly Wayfinding System
IMMORTAL

Singapore Leads the Way in Empowering a Super Aged Society

IMMORTAL als Consultants

According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, someone in the world develops dementia every 3 seconds and it is estimated that by 2030 this number could very well reach 78 million and that much of the increase will be in developing countries – that is a scary statistic.

“Today, we are an aged society; soon, we will be a ‘super-aged’ society. We will keep making Singapore a more friendly home for current and future seniors: investing resources to senior proof your homes; making precincts safer and easier to navigate,” said the Prime Minister of Singapore at the National Day Rally speech on 20 August 2023 held at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

photo_credit IMMORTAL
IMMORTAL
photo_credit IMMORTAL
IMMORTAL

Heeding Singapore government’s initiative to enable ageing in place, IMMORTAL – a Singapore-based branding consultancy with over 30 years of experience and award-winning designs across Asia – devised a dementia-friendly wayfinding solution was devised for Khatib Central and Chong Pang City, which were identified as residential estates with ageing populations.

With a growing aging population, Singapore recognizes the importance of creating a supportive environment, which led to the implementation of innovative initiatives and is setting an inspiring example for the world. As the population ages, the government and various organizations have been working tirelessly to ensure that seniors can lead independent lives with dignity. And IMMORTAL’s dementia-wayfinding solution is a pivotal step in the right direction.

photo_credit IMMORTAL
IMMORTAL
photo_credit IMMORTAL
IMMORTAL

Dementia, a debilitating condition affecting memory, cognitive functions, and daily life, poses unique challenges to both those living with the condition and their caregivers. As such, the objective of the project by the IMMORTAL – a member of the ONG&ONG Group was to create a system that assists seniors and those afflicted with dementia in navigating around their neighbourhood safely and independently. This was achieved by formulating wayfinding strategies that support easy navigation between residential blocks and key amenities around the estates, especially within high-traffic zones.

Building upon research to ascertain user needs, the resulting wayfinding solution involves zoning areas by colour and symbol, as well as developing a signage system that allows easy spatial recognition. The residential blocks were sectioned into zones, and each was assigned a colour – either red, green, or blue. The zone colours were painted on the facade of the blocks, along with block numbers prominently displayed in large fonts, making them easily legible from a distance.

photo_credit IMMORTAL
IMMORTAL
photo_credit IMMORTAL
IMMORTAL

Other features of the wayfinding project include super-sized graphic walls and pillar signage that incorporate directional elements, universal icons, as well as stencilled symbols of pineapples, tropical fish, and rubber trees, chosen for their close association with the area’s heritage.

These simple yet distinctive visual cues serve as visual anchors for clear identification. In addition, directional signage on aluminium panels were integrated with concrete seats that double as resting spots for senior residents. The signage system was applied seamlessly to the existing infrastructure, making for a community-friendly approach.

photo_credit IMMORTAL
IMMORTAL
photo_credit IMMORTAL
IMMORTAL

Since its inception the dementia-friendly wayfinding system has gone on to win these awards:

  • Chicago Athenaeum Global Good Design Awards
  • Global WAN Awards
  • Nippon Paint Global Creative Colours Awards
  • Singapore Good Design Awards

The success of implementing dementia-friendly wayfinding system in Khatib Central and Chong Pang City has spurred more townships in Singapore to plan and design Dementia-friendly Communities. The dementia wayfinding initiatives in this nation serves as a model for other countries endeavouring to create environments where seniors can live independently and with dignity, regardless of their cognitive abilities.

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