Wayfinding consultancy Immortal creates a system that assists seniors and those afflicted with dementia in navigating around their neighbourhood safely

Designed by Immortal

From the designer/wayfinding consultancy:

Leading the way in empowering a super aged society

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

In recognition of this, Singapore is investing resources to senior proof homes and to make precincts safer and easier to navigate.

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 – has devised a dementia-friendly wayfinding solution for residential estates, which were identified as having aging populations.

With a growing aging population, Singapore recognises 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 organisations 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.

Dementia – providing colour, symbols and signage prompts

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.

Other features of the wayfinding project include super-sized graphic walls and pillar signage that incorporate directional elements and 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.

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

A springboard to wider use

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 also serves as a model for other countries endeavouring to create environments where seniors can live independently and with dignity, regardless of their cognitive abilities.

Designed by: Immortal

Story by: Trendsideas

10 Dec, 2023

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