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The mission of the AIA Design for Aging (DFA) Knowledge Community is to foster design innovation and disseminate knowledge necessary to enhance the built environment and quality of life for an aging society. This includes relevant research on characteristics, planning and costs associated with innovative design for aging. In addition, DFA provides outcome data on the value of these design solutions and environments.

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New! Strategies for Safer Senior Living Communities
This resource includes strategies for dining facilities, amenity spaces, and individual units. Download >


By Charles R. Durrett AIA posted 09-16-2020 19:46


In these COVID times, architect and pioneer of senior cohousing in North America, Charles “Chuck” Durrett (Durrett Architects) worries about seniors now more than ever. This is no time to be isolated. Seniors in cohousing are socially distanced but not socially isolated. Between Tai Chi twice per day, assisting each other with groceries, prescription drugs, safe and distant but fun meals together and hundreds of other things, seniors look out for each other in cohousing in these times. They help people most at risks minimize their exposure to COVID. Therefore, Chuck is more motivated than ever to get more seniors into cohousing, into the good times, and into the heyday of community, so that when rough times like this occur, like these days, seniors are ready. The Study Group 1 (SG1) – Aging Successfully Facilitator Training helps seniors learn how to set their own lives and the lives of other seniors up for success. Please help Chuck help them. The SG1 Facilitator Training is for anyone motivated to be part of a solution in the current senior housing crisis in the U.S. and around the world. With your participation, we should be able to get a new senior cohousing started in your part of the world relatively easily.


The SG1 Facilitator Training offers experiential learning on aging issues and demonstrates the logistics of creating a supportive housing community. Limited to 20 people, the course allows for one-on-one dialogue and small group exercises, given at a pace tailored to each and every one involved. Participants will learn how to organize and motivate senior groups to take an active role in their housing choices. SG1 is the number one way to get seniors conscious of the issues, out of denial, and proactive enough to consider senior cohousing. It is often said that if you ask 100 random seniors, would you consider senior cohousing, maybe one will say yes. If you ask 100 seniors who have taken Study Group One, 40 will say yes.


The training will run for 10 weeks starting Oct 7th, 2020, with weekly sessions every Wednesday, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM, PST. Participants will receive coaching from Durrett on how to organize senior groups and gain essential tools to launch senior cohousing in their area. No prior knowledge of cohousing is required. Sign up by visiting


Contact Zishi Han at 530-265-9980;, for more information or to schedule an interview with Mr. Durrett.

About Charles Durrett

Charles Durrett has designed over 50 cohousing communities in North America. He has received many awards, including the UN World Habitat Award and the U.S. National Home Builder Association Award for energy efficiency and smart growth. He is the co-author of Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities, and The Senior Cohousing Handbook: A Community Approach to Independent Living.

About Cohousing

Cohousing is a type of collaborative housing in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their own neighborhood. Cohousing neighborhood consist of private homes clustered around shared space. They foster community through deliberate and collaborative resident-management. Senior cohousing communities are exclusively for older residents (typically 55+) with high regard for universal design and aging-in-place. Senior cohousing communities are becoming more popular as current senior housing continues to fall short of providing adequate services and community for seniors.