Colour Design – Aged Care & Healthcare

Effective colour design is imperative in aged care and healthcare for reasons beyond aesthetics. In these settings, well-considered colour design can help achieve these outcomes:

  • Improve environmental visual literacy
  • Encourage and improve engagement;
  • Support orientation and wayfinding;
  • Assist with the safe operation of daily activities.

Effective evironmental visual literacy occurs when people can ‘read’ and make sense of the environment in a meaningful way. This is important for older people with declining visual capacity and people living with dementia.

We have developed evidence-based workshops that blend research findings with practical activities. Participants gain valuable insight into the ways in which effective colour design can enhance aged care and healthcare environments.

For a full list of forthcoming workshop dates, go the the Colour Collective website.

This seminar attracts 3 formal CPD (continuing professional development) points for architects and designers. The seminar content is linked to the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) National Standard of Competency for Architects (2015 edition). It addresses the unit of competency of ‘Design’ and the specific elements of ‘Pre-Design’ and ‘Conceptual Design’. The workshop features significant interaction between the presenter and learner.

Learning objectives:

1) Identify and distinguish between the attributes of colour: hue, contrast and saturation, and the role these play in visual perception;

2) Understand the roles of colour and contrast in environmental visual literacy;

3) Understand the ways in which colour and contrast can be used to address the needs of older people with declining visual and cognitive ability (including dementia);

4) Identify and apply selected colour/contrast strategies. These aim to improve environmental visual literacy, orientation, wayfinding, signage, and engagement in aged care and healthcare environments;

5) Build a resource of information and colour design strategies for future reference.

A full list of Effective Colour Design in Aged Care and Healthcare workshop dates are available at

Effective Colour Design in Aged Care and Healthcare developed and delivered by Zena O’Connor, PhD. Based on the folowing peer-reviewed conference paper – Colour/contrast strategies to improve environmental visual literacy, Universal Design Symposium, ANZ Viaducts Event Centre, Auckland, NZ, 26 October 2016.  See publications list

Zena O’Connor, PhD – Evidence-based colour consultant, Design Research Associates.