A DIRECTOR of a Scottish Borders architectural practice is stepping down after 21 years to continue the development of an innovative technology created to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia.

David Burgher, of Aitken Turnbull, based in Galashiels, is leaving the firm to focus his efforts on further developing a pioneering design tool called VR-EP (Virtual Reality - Empathy Platform), which allows architects and designers to enhance the environments and living spaces for dementia sufferers.

Mr Burgher’s aim is to make Scotland the most dementia-inclusive country in the world.

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The platform uses smart technology to enable people to have a tangible experience of how physical spaces can feel to someone living with dementia and brings a new understanding.

The move is backed by recent international investment, giving Mr Burgher the opportunity to work on VR-EP as an independent business, whilst maintaining the close relationship with Aitken Turnbull where the concept originally emerged.

“The more I researched the devastating impact living with dementia has on individuals and their families, the more I realised that addressing issues around living environment and space needed a full-time focus,” he said.