ION-DRI Programme


Colour and dementia research project

A collaborative project, exploring the use of colour and how it can be used to improve the wellbeing of patients, visitors and staff at 256 Grays Inn Road.

Colour and dementia research

Colour can bring a sense of calm, joy, and delight to space, with obvious benefits to the wellbeing of all users of the building. 

As part of the building design process at 256 Grays Inn Road, as well as the public art programme, we're investigating how people with neurological disorders experience colour, light and vision to change the way we create accessible and inclusive spaces.

Colour and Design

Project architects Hawkins\Brown are developing a research project around the themes of neurodiversity and colour use in the built environment. The ambition is that this may translate into an interactive installation or test bed that will encourage dialogue about colour and user experience (staff, patients, visitors and carers) within the building. 

colour infographic

Artwork Commission – Colour and Wellbeing

Artists and researchers Estelle Thompson and Jo Volley both use colour extensively in their work and are passionate believers in the power of colour. They regularly collaborate with each other, most recently on the Colour & Poetry Symposium. 

As part of the public art programme, they have been commissioned to develop a new work for the public spaces in the building. Their research explores the topic of colour and dementia, with an aim to develop a database and archive of the colours used by researchers and staff from across the ION-DRI community. 

Jo Volley is an Associate Professor at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL where she manages the Material Research Project & Network and the Material Museum. In 2019 she created and is director of Colour & Poetry an annual symposium held at the Slade and in 2020 along with Dr Ruth Siddall established World Pigment Day. Estelle Thompson was Head of Graduate Painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL until 2022 and has exhibited internationally, curated numerous exhibitions and received major commissions to incorporate colour in the built environment and artworks in public buildings across the UK.



Slade School of Research Materials Research Project Pigment Library Permanent Exhibition, UCL