Wednesday night was the launch of the first in a series of professional guides from the charity Thomas Pocklington. The guide’s author, Jacqui Smith, an interior designer, lost the sight in her left in 2012. She realised there was a need for a guide to be written and approached Thomas Pocklington. The result is the Homes and living spaces for people with sight loss: a guide for interior designers.
This publication is aimed at interior designers and focuses on the key principles for designing for people with sight loss considering elements such as colour contrast, lighting, designing hallways, stairs and landings, living areas, bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens.
This is really value information for all interior designers and architects because when you think about it, healthcare design affects all design whether that’s retail, hospitality, airports, entertainment.
Sight loss can affect us at any age.
Think of this as applying best practice principals because when you are designing a space you never know who will use that space and you’ll want it to be inclusive and accessible to all.
Healthcare design is often seen as an additional expense, however clever design that incorporates these principals at the design and planning stage of your project will avoid costly refits and changes later.
Colour and Contrast guidelines
I was honoured to be asked by Jacqui to write the chapter on Colour and Contrast guidelines.
In the UK when it comes to designing for health care and publicly accessed spaces under the Part M Building regulations and the Equality Act 2010 designers have a duty of care to design in a way that is inclusive to all.
Colour contrast is where a visual of at least 30 LRV points for all critical surfaces is maintained. A critical surface would be floor to wall, wall to door, light switches, door handles etc).
A designer who understands colour and it subtleties will be able to find creative ways incorporating the additional challenges these regulations raise, whilst meeting the needs of people with sight loss without compromising the colour scheme and meeting their client’s brief. Even if there are no such regulations in your own country, then this may be a good basis for you to work from.
There’s a few pictures from the SBID CPD event launching the Thomas Pocklington guide.
Get your copy
You can download the Homes and living spaces for people with sight loss: a guide for interior designers via the Thomas Pocklington site.
The guide is available in hard copy at www.pocklington-trust.org.uk.