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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/25308

Title: Ageing, wellbeing and architectural design
Authors: Petermans, Ann
Smetcoren, An-Sofie
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: World Design Summit, Montreal, Canada, 16-20/10/2017
Abstract: Population ageing is according to United Nations (2013) one of the most important challenges of the 21st century. Also in Belgium (Western Europe), the number of older people is growing: in 2015, 24.1% of the population was 60 years and over, by 2050 this figure is expected to shift to 32.6%. Moreover, 5.5% of the population was 80 years and over in 2015 which is projected to reach 10.6% in 2050. These sharp increases will have a significant impact on our housing sector and will challenge current and future housing policies, all the more taken into account the diversity of future generations of older people (e.g. because of diversity in marital status, ethnicity, level of education, health condition) and their changing housing needs and wants (Smetcoren, 2016). Consequently, there is a need for housing design innovation to increase housing choice for older people (Smetcoren, 2016; Wright et al., 2017). However, as stated by Zeeman et al. (2016, p. 764) ‘current housing design practice is shaped by solution-focused approaches rather than guided by sound theoretical frameworks and research-based principles’. This stresses the need for evidence-based design frameworks. Within this need, architectural design concepts influencing the subjective wellbeing of older people will gain significant interest (Stones & Gullifer, 2016; Smetcoren, 2016; Stevens et al., 2016, Wright et al., 2017). The context wherein people live and function will always need to answer objective architectural parameters (e.g., acoustics, heating, cooling, isolation …), but there is a growing request to also consider issues regarding people’s subjective wellbeing (SWB), all the more because home is the primary setting for growing old. This paper starts from the observation that today, there is a lack of knowledge concerning the influence of housing design features on older people’s SWB. Via a review of literature and two case studies, that is, innovative housing projects for older adults, we demonstrate how designers can be inspired to stimulate the creation of a built environment with the potential to contribute to the SWB of current and future generations of older people.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/25308
Category: C2
Type: Conference Material
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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