Evaluating three validation-methods for an architectural intervention for seniors with dementia in the empathic design framework : a case study

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Designing for seniors with dementia is a difficult task, because they are more dependent on the design of the building in order to perform activities of daily life (ADL). The Empathic Design Framework with the four phases (explore, translate, elaborate, and validate) makes it possible to design a suitable building for this target group. Using this framework, developed and translated design principles need to be implemented and tested in order to validate an architectural intervention which stimulates ADL. In the case study presented in this paper, three methods were used to validate the architectural intervention of door decals: performance-based orientation task (M1), fly-on-the-wall observation (M2), and questionnaire-based interview (M3). This paper presents the evaluation of these three methods in order to discover which method or methods suit best the purpose of validating an architectural intervention. In this study, multiple variables were tested; however, it was not possible to test each variable with every method. Based on this case study, we recommend to choose the application of the methods according to the to be tested variables and the type of behavior that needs to be measured: M1 and M2 are more suitable for the measurement of real behavior change of the target group; while M3 suits well if opinions and the level of acceptance need to be measured.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDementia Lab 2019. Making Design Work
Subtitle of host publicationEngaging with Dementia in Context - 4th Conference, D-Lab 2019, Proceedings
EditorsRens Brankaert, Wijnand IJsselsteijn
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-33540-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-33539-7
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event4th Dementia Lab Conference, D-Lab 2019 - Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 21 Oct 201922 Oct 2019

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
ISSN (Print)1865-0929
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0937


Conference4th Dementia Lab Conference, D-Lab 2019
OtherDementia Lab 2019 : Making design work: engaging with dementia in context


  • Dementia
  • Door decals
  • Nursing home
  • Validation-method


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