Red and Yellow Care – Designing Happiness into Dementia Care

Red and Yellow Care

Designing Happiness into Dementia Care


Client: Red and Yellow Care

Project: Home is Where Your Heart is: Designing Happiness into Dementia Care

Insight: Existing approaches to residential dementia care unintentionally ‘design out’ emotion. A life without ups and downs is a life where happiness is difficult to realise. 

Outcome: Red and Yellow Care has embraced our practical design principles to ensure its innovative dementia campuses allow residents to experience a full range of emotions.

Winner – Virginia Valentine Award for Cultural Insight (2012)


‘“Revealing reality” is a modest tagline- they are pretty brilliant at then communicating it.  The impact of their work to date is significant, influencing all aspects of our service design whilst proving a solid evidence base for innovation. However the best testament to their work is to highlight it as a major contribution to the care of people with dementia - I look forward to being able to share their insights widely. We continue to seek their help and could not recommend their diligent, friendly and can-do approach more highly.’

Director Red and Yellow Care

Faced with an ageing population, the dementia care industry is fast becoming unfit for purpose: unable to keep pace with diagnoses, and often failing to provide the best possible care.

Red and Yellow Care is an innovative new brand, starting from scratch and wanting to do things differently. Its founders believed a deeper understanding of people’s experiences could inform the design of new facilities to maximise happiness and wellbeing. 

Our ethnographic research captured a status quo in which existing care homes routinely ‘design out’ emotions and behaviour from the care environment. Seeking a more fulfilling solution, we explored the everyday sources of happiness for those living with dementia at home, mapping these behaviours onto the care home environment, covering everything from kitchens to service. 

The emphasis was on enabling those with dementia to experience a complete range of emotions, ensuring they can have ups and downs as part of a full and happy later life. 

As well as underpinning Red and Yellow’s overall approach, our findings look set to transform the landscape of dementia care more generally.


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