Clay // Early On-set Dementia Community Centre

The space aims to provide a place of answers for those living with early on-set dementia and their support systems. Spatial aspects will encourage users to gain support, clarity and management skills through emphasising social interactions in a community setting. By drawing on the emotional process of diagnosis through to creating a support network. The space mimics and provides systems of normality and rebuilding one's identity.


Guests first point of contact within the space is the reception and waiting room. The space acts as a welcoming zone that influences comfortability, community and a homely feeling. The use of various textures on the walls, floor and roof allows users to immerse physically within the space and provides clear distinctions of where surfaces begin and end. This space aims at being a short stay transition zone as large openings to the kitchen and dining rooms entice the users to enter.

Communal Kitchen

The journey from the reception continues onto the communal kitchen which is located in a new construction. This building embodies the next big step of the users personal journey into a new and unfamiliar place, diagnosis. The view of the communal garden acts as a therapeutic remedy which calms the user and creates paddock to plate. This idea of community through cooking is explored to allow for conversation, socialisation and engagement.

Community Dining

The space features only large communal tables to enforce conversations, socialisation and involvement. There are no small or singular tables on purpose as the intent of this community centre is to create support systems that help in creating management skills in dealing with their condition. By tasting what the users have made in the kitchen they feel pride and accomplishment which builds their self esteem, which may have been lost through diagnosis.


The workspace allows collaboration, support and socialisation for those who may still be working while dealing with early on-set dementia. The space can hold informal meetings in a place users feel comfortable and allows colleagues to better understand what it is like to live with early on-set dementia by being involved in a community setting. Light and materiality softens the space to create a calming environment. Different workstations allow flexibility to cater to a variety of users needs.

Wellness Studio

The wellness studio can be utilised for yoga, meditation, physical therapy and anything in between. The space promotes calmness and relaxation through materiality and colour palette. Users are encouraged to release all stress and anxiety they may face on a daily basis from their disease. Natural lighting acts as a softening effect to create a warm environment that embodies a sanctuary.

Art Studio

The art studio allows emotional output and creative expression of all the feelings the users have dealt with on their journey through diagnosis and creating a support system.

Pottery Studio

The pottery studio is the physical embodiment of Clay as the users can go through the motions they experienced in the spaces again in tangible form. The users are invited to reflect their physical and emotional journey through their work to create a symbol of what they achieved through forming a support system.

Exhibition Space

The exhibition space is located around the void of level 2 outside the art and pottery studios as a way of displaying the work the users have created. The displays allow users to feel a sense of pride in the work they have accomplished.

Brick Ballet Reception

Brick Ballet aims at being a welcoming community that focuses on integrating early on-set dementia users with the wider community. This is achieved through fostering confidence in a fun and energetic atmosphere. Neon pink lights and sleek surfaces create a strong juxtaposition from Clay, this is intended to emphasise the end of their journey in self discovery post diagnosis and formulating their identity through a community environment.

Makenzi Donald

Majoring in Interior Design and Landscape Architecture, Makenzi is a multifaceted designer who aims to push the boundaries between inside and outside. Makenzi’s designs centre around the psychology of space and the emotive responses that follow. Her eye for detail and future proof design allows her to create dynamic spaces that cover a wide range of user groups.