Staff from Dundee’s V&A museum have been part of a major project helping palliative care patients redesign their communal space.
Patients at NHS Tayside’s Macmillan Day Centre in Roxburghe House have been guided through an interior design process over the last eight months in a bid to make rooms in the building more functional.
With the help of professional designers, the patients and staff have been coming up with ideas for the space, with cash from NHS Tayside’s endowment fund being set aside to make it a reality.
Day patient Alan Mills, 67, who is fighting multiple sclerosis, said the experience has turned his view of the V&A upside down.
The 67-year-old said: “To be really honest, I wasn’t sold on the V&A at first.
“But since working with them I am totally behind it. I’ve seen how much they want to work with communities. It’s more than just a building.
“It has been so refreshing to get the chance to have an influence on the design of this area. So often, wheelchair users like myself still have trouble with buildings that meet the legal requirements for accessibility.
“It’s my biggest bugbear so to be able to design something much better has been fantastic. For the staff here, who have helped me to get going again after a very difficult time, getting an input has been so important too.”
Freelance designers Linsey McIntosh and Sooz Gordon have been working for the V&A on the project and have been visiting Roxburghe House since August to give seminars.
Linsey said: “Often designers work for people but we wanted to work with them here.
“Everyone can be creative if given the right tools. We really were overwhelmed by how passionate they were.”
Peter Nurick, communities producer for V&A Dundee added: “The V&A isn’t just a static institution, it’s about making a difference to people’s lives.
“We want to bring the museum to people. Especially those who may not necessarily find it easy to come to the museum itself.”
The project is a pilot and part of the V&A Dundee Communities Programme. It will be used to help create a co-design tool kit to enable similar projects to happen in the future.