Christiaan Schuit

Christiaan Schuit


Van Kamer tot kamer

From One Room to Another (Van Kamer tot Kamer) is an alternative to the current residential environment of people with dementia. Due to the major changes in our healthcare system, this exponentially growing and vulnerable target group is at risk. Increasing cuts are being made to the healthcare setting and living environment of care homes, which is resulting in dementia-unfriendly living conditions. The care homes often have long, confusing corridors, dark spots and offer little room for social contact. The residents are therefore slowly losing connection with their environment. At the same time, higher care needs assessments are leading to delayed admission to care homes. This target group is therefore forced to live at home increasingly longer, while this environment is not designed for dementia. It is an unsustainable situation for all parties concerned.

Imagine if we, as a society, together decided to no longer admit people with dementia to care homes at all, but to let them live at home. How would we then connect them with their residential environment, that is to say the collective and public space, neighbours, friends and family? And what does this mean for the spatial qualities of the home and the residential environment? For anyone who has experienced closed up what it’s like to live with dementia, these questions are relevant. As a designer, I felt compelled to go in search of an alternative in which there is an understanding of dementia on the basis of the space.

A new dementia-friendly residential environment will be introduced in the Spaarndammerbuurt district. A series of ensembles will place the emphasis on making connections. Together, they will form a safety net in the neighbourhood. This residential environment will stimulate relationships and encounters with the neighbourhood, so that people with dementia will remain connected with their living environment. At the same time, the design will give something back to the neighbourhood: an inclusive city.

Graduation committee: Albert Herder (mentor), Gus Tielens and Henri Snel. Additional members for the exam: Herman Kerkdijk and Wouter Kroeze.

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