- Article by Online Editor
Covering current thinking, technology, the rejection of institutionalised homogenous design and the move towards an individually focused approach, ADR’s Aged Care Design Trend Report is a must-read for all designers and architects.
Launched at a breakfast panel event last week, the report provides a deep dive into the aged care design landscape now and in the future.
Based on insight from a variety of design experts and academics, the report focuses on the way aged care spaces are increasingly ‘homes away from homes’.
For Mark Trotter, a director at Brisbane- headquartered Fulton Trotter Architects, the challenge, as he sees it, is to design facilities that minimise the public perception of ‘institutionalisation’.
“Architecture that is anywhere from comfortable to exciting is needed to at least partially overcome this fear, rather than buildings that present as clinical and soulless. The aim is to reduce institutional ideas from the broadest concept right down to detail… Designing retirement living facilities is all about creating a community where people have choices, which range from complete privacy through to full engagement with the wider world.”
The report also highlights some key statistics that will impact how we designed aged care facilities going forward. For example: By 2057, it is projected there will be 8.8 million older Australians (22 percent of the population); by 2097, 12.8 million people (25 percent) will be aged 65 years and over.
And it is the Baby Boomer generation that is driving change according to Ownworld’s Fiona Katashima and Peter Quintal-Norris.
” [They] are driving this opportunity to redefine the lifestyle quality of how and where we may choose to spend our senior years. Everyone relates to and benefits from beautiful, sunlit surroundings whether they are 16 or 86 and this is not new. What is new is the residents being their own advocates for improved aesthetically beautiful and comfortable environments.
“Of course, there will always be specialist needs for a percentage of aged care residents, but alongside the equipment there is no reason the rest of the environment needs to resemble something out of Charles Dickens or Ken Kesey.”
The report also focuses on how to design for dementia and the impact of new technology.