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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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Blueprints for Senior Living - Request for Articles on Universal Design

  • 1.  Blueprints for Senior Living - Request for Articles on Universal Design

    Posted 05-13-2016 08:17 PM

    “For our next issue of Blueprints for Senior Living, we are seeking member content on the topic of Universal Design. Articles could feature buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to older people, people without disabilities, and people with disabilities. The deadline for article submission is June 8, 2016. Please send the title of your proposed article and a short paragraph describing its contents to DFA@aia.org by June 8, 2016. We ask that articles be original submissions and 200-800 words in length. You are also highly encouraged to include pictures if they are available.”

    ------------------------------
    Sarah Colven
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Blueprints for Senior Living - Request for Articles on Universal Design

    Posted 05-16-2016 05:30 PM
    The subject as presented is wonderful....except....how many of you have checked the "plans for houses" being offered in many news papers, especially on Sunday, which are absolutely "anti access".  In our paper, "Kalamazoo Gazette", every Sunday they offer floor plans and pictures of "wonderful plans for houses" and I have yet to see one which does not have steps up to the front door (if it has a basement), or one which does not have a gigantic Master Bedroom Bath with the water closet in a small "closet".   ie none of them are accessible for the occpants, visitable by anyone with motor disabilities, or are in any way "universal design".

    I am not sure to whom I am responding, but would like to know and, perhaps, get some sort of conversation about this going. 

    Currently, I am dealing with "service issues" for families who have someone who will never be "independent".  In these cases, it is the care giver who needs help.....another topic.

    Richard Baker AIAE






  • 3.  RE: Blueprints for Senior Living - Request for Articles on Universal Design

    Posted 05-18-2016 08:57 AM
    Richard, your point is spot on. I speak with residential architects and builders all of the time and they often don't understand the issue, and don't know where to start. I speak with communities that are losing their older residents because they can not live in their older homes but there are no options in the community for aging in place. The housing stock in the country does not allow for ease of visitability/accessibility and is not safe for many older adults. I will be moving into my "forever home" next month; accessible, visitable, wide doorways, zero steps at all exterior doors, bathrooms big enough for use by all, etc. No one will ever see these features as unusual because they look right. 

    --
    Douglas J. Gallow Jr., AIA, NCARB

    Lifespan Design Studio, LLC
    10678 Bettyray Drive
    Loveland, Ohio 45140
    (513) 239-8529





  • 4.  RE: Blueprints for Senior Living - Request for Articles on Universal Design

    Posted 05-20-2016 08:31 AM

    Richard-

    I too agree with your comments-- and would suggest going to the paper and talking with them about doing a special feature about houses built to UD standards-- I think a lot of the ignorance comes from our societal perspective that young and healthy is good, and anything else is therefore "not good".  But those of us who know and understand UD recognize that it is good for everyone -- the mom with a sleeping child in a stroller who doesn't have to wake her up to take her into the house; the muddy dog who can get cleaned off in the shower with a hand-held shower wand, and the friend with a broken leg who doesn't have to struggle to get up the steps to visit you. Good Grips products are now sufficiently popular that people no longer thing of them as being "accessible" - so most people who buy them don't even realize that they are.    Once you start explaining the benefits of UD principles to people, they get this great Ah-Ha moment. 

    The other group we need to tackle is the housing industry--if we can get home builders to see the benefits, and talk to their potential clients about it, not using the language of disability, but using the language of UD, that these design principles make it easier for EVERYONE, we might begin to see greater adoption of UD.

    ------------------------------
    Margaret Calkins Assoc. AIA
    Kent State University
    Kirtland OH



  • 5.  RE: Blueprints for Senior Living - Request for Articles on Universal Design

    Posted 05-20-2016 07:48 PM

    The term, "Universal Design" is a misnomer, in that the design is simply not universal. A few examples would be the lack of ablution hoses and eastern water closets, woks in the kitchen, kitchen cabinets designed for the 4'-0" tall person, as well as the 7'-0" tall person, and doors designed for 7'-0" tall people. Also not included are braille readouts for appliances and other operable devices. No doors are designed for passage for a hospital type bed. The list goes on and on.

     

    When using the term Universal, it must include everything, else use some other term, such as "Not Quite Universal".

     

     

     

    Regards,

     

    Chuck Graham

     






  • 6.  RE: Blueprints for Senior Living - Request for Articles on Universal Design

    Posted 05-23-2016 07:16 PM
    In response to Charles Graham's posting, I agree that "Universal Design" isn't quite "Universal".  Perhaps "Socially Sustainable Design" is a better term.  I've heard that used a lot as well.  There is no way that Universal Design can account for 100% of the population's needs, but it can certainly raise the level of accommodation from say 75% of the population to 95-99% of the population.  That would be a tremendous help regardless of the term/name.

    Regarding the short supply of good examples of house design, I highly recommend that architects and builders (who 'get' the intent and sprit of Universal Design or Socially Sustainable Design) lead by example.  We should promote our projects that combine good functionality, accessibility and aesthetics.  I believe that there is a growing appetite out there in the media and among consumers for better examples of housing.  Let's start providing better options and get as much press exposure as possible for them.  If we show how to do it, other people will start to get it and do it too.


    Emory Baldwin, AIA

    FabCab | Principal Architect
    ebaldwin@fabcab.com | 
    206.275.2345 (office) | 206.910.1990 (cell)
    www.fabcab.com





  • 7.  RE: Blueprints for Senior Living - Request for Articles on Universal Design

    Posted 01-18-2019 07:59 AM

    Older houses are great examples of literally cradle to grave design. Such houses had no shortage of appropriately designed openings and rooms designed for nurseries, as well as the last sleeping room. The front doors are even wide enough to allow a coffin with pall bearers to exit. Some of them do have stairs, but that was in a day with precious few wheelchairs, but plenty of family members to assist.

     

     

     

    Regards,

     

    Chuck Graham

     






  • 8.  RE: Blueprints for Senior Living - Request for Articles on Universal Design

    Posted 01-29-2019 11:55 AM

    Love this conversation (even if it looks like a rather old thread). Also, I love the idea to call Universal Design "Social Sustainability Design". While one can argue that we can, with good design, create welcoming homes that have everything, for everybody, but honestly, there are design dilemmas that cannot treat everyone equally. We can try, and come close, but you really cannot.  I think, however, that Universal is more about thinking WHEN designing, for all, not just for the occupants of the moment.
    Anyway, I just wanted to add my two cents in here. Also, to add that in designing for aging is up to us, ultimately, to change younger people's mindset (and by that anyone who is younger than the occupants.)
    Meaning, no one wants to redo a house to have grab bars that look like granny lives there (Thus the nickname: Granny bars), or stair chairs, to make it look old, and the thinking continues, the property value goes down. Never understood this theory but I understand where it comes from. Those grab bars in the <g class="gr_ gr_1161 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar multiReplace" id="1161" data-gr-id="1161">80's</g> were institutional and UGLY! I now even #hotgrabbars when I see good looking grab bar designs. Not too often, but it does happen.

    All great points!
    Thanks for listening!



    ------------------------------
    Janet Roche, MDS, CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist)
    Janet Roche Designs, LLC
    Real Design Solutions for the Human Condition
    www.plansbyjanet.com
    617-755-7237
    Allied ASID, Affiliate EDAC
    *** Come see me speak at MAD*POW's HXD in Boston on April 2-3, 2019 and at NEOCON, Chicago, June 12, 2019, both on Aging and the Environment ****
    Adjunct Instructor at The Boston Architectural College
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Blueprints for Senior Living - Request for Articles on Universal Design

    Posted 01-31-2019 01:29 PM
    Janet, your point of younger adults need to see the value in universal design is something that we are starting to see. In talking to Millennials have grown up seeing their grand parents and parents age, and have observed how the quality of life can decline in the 60s and beyond. Millennials who I have spoken with also equate universal design with things like zero step entrances that make rolling a stroller through a door a much easier task. They seem to be making the connection to u.d. and better quality of life and ease of accomplishing a task. If younger adults can embrace the benefits of u.d. and good design, the stigma of planning for the future may go away.

    ------------------------------
    Douglas Gallow AIA
    Lifespan Design Studio
    Loveland OH
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Blueprints for Senior Living - Request for Articles on Universal Design

    Posted 02-04-2019 11:49 AM
    It would be worth your while to take a look at what the Living in Place Institute is doing with respect to U.D. Their very thorough treatment of the subject includes the input of a PHD in Occupational Therapy. Their focus is on encouraging renovation and design for the aging.
    --





  • 11.  RE: Blueprints for Senior Living - Request for Articles on Universal Design

    Posted 02-06-2019 10:21 AM
    Adding to the conversation - please look at the efforts being made on behalf of
    HomesRenewed Resource Center and HomesRenewed Coaltion.  Add your
    support to incentivize the changes necessary to successfully age in place!
     
     
    Ingrid L. Fraley
    Design Services, Inc.
    337 Main Street
    Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878
    301 590 9030





  • 12.  RE: Blueprints for Senior Living - Request for Articles on Universal Design

    Posted 02-04-2019 11:50 AM
    Douglas,

    That is what I am seeing too. And even friends, who are starting to understand what I am doing, (and, perhaps, you are too) and are starting to think about what that means. Good to know! Thanks for responding. 

    Janet Roche, MDS, CAPS
    Janet Roche Designs, LLC
    Real Design Solutions for the Human Condition
    617-755-7237
    Allied ASID, Affiliate EDAC
    *** Come see me speak at MAD*POW's HXD in Boston on April 2-3, 2019 and at NEOCON, Chicago, June 12, 2019, both on Aging and the Environment ****
    Adjunct Instructor at The Boston Architectural College






  • 13.  RE: Blueprints for Senior Living - Request for Articles on Universal Design

    Posted 02-06-2019 10:20 AM
    Douglas is right - Universal Design is simply "good design" and needs to be understood and promoted as such. Unfortunately UD is seen, by the public as well as as by our profession, as simply wheelchair-accessibility, re-framed to reduce the stigma. And also to address the confusion regarding what standards apply (Fair Housing, ADA, codes). The various terminologies under discussion (Better Living Design, Age-Friendly Design, etc) are both useful and obfuscating.

    Architects need to hone their programming skills to be fluent in UD. To quote Steve Jobs, "design is how it works, not just how it looks." Industry publications, blogs, and tv shows that focus on trends (like color palettes, waterfall counters, wood species) are just distractions from the real work of understanding all the nuances of how our buildings need to serve their users. We've got to stop being defensive about UD and embrace the challenge of designing places that work for everyone!






    --
    Deborah Pierce, AIA, CAPS, Principal
    Pierce Lamb
    Architects
    1075 Washington Street
    West Newton, MA 02465
    C: 617.548.6161
    T: 617.964.1311
    http://www.piercelambarchitects.com/






  • 14.  RE: Blueprints for Senior Living - Request for Articles on Universal Design

    Posted 02-08-2019 12:36 PM
    Apparently, there is a gross misunderstanding of the term, "universal". "Universal" means the inclusion or exclusion of everything under all circumstances. This is clearly not the intent of this subject matter. To be universal, a home would include both eastern and western water closets; tubs, showers, and walk-in tubs, counter tops of varying heights, structures strong enough to support people of the greatest weight, outfitted with appliances with labels readable by the blind, and on and on. While this project is of noble aspirations, don't belittle it with improper use of terms. There are other terms more suitable that are already in use by more conscientious people, such as "Cradle to Grave" and "Aging in Place": Either term is far truer to purpose than "universal."

    Thanks.

    ------------------------------
    C
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Blueprints for Senior Living - Request for Articles on Universal Design

    Posted 01-31-2019 01:30 PM

    Dear Mr. Graham,

     

    In response to your comment on Blueprints for Senior Living, nice stretch. I've designed close to a thousand houses with the future senior residents. They never ask for houses that are like old houses. There is not enough storage, they are too cold, they have bad acoustics, bad light, high maintenance, bathroom doors too narrow, bathrooms too small, and so on.

     

    I'm happy to help you with a story on the real future of senior housing, one that is supportive and feels like a small village of old, but with state-of-the-art design, built to age in place. Please read The Senior Cohousing Handbook: A Community Approach to Independent Living and then give me a call at 916-716-6721.

     

    Thanks,

     

    Chuck


    Charles R. Durrett
    Principal Architect

    McCamant & Durrett Architects
    The Cohousing Company
    241-B Commercial Street
    Nevada City, CA 95959
    530-265-9980 office
    916-716-6721 cell phone










  • 16.  RE: Blueprints for Senior Living - Request for Articles on Universal Design

    Posted 02-07-2019 05:23 PM
    Gunner, OTs are not designers. They can be helpful and would use them on my team, but they are not designers that can look in the totality of an environment. My specialty is to look at the total wellness of the environment, I investigate the biology, psychology, and sociology of the space and design accordingly. I cannot stress enough that OTs (even those with PhDs) are not trained to (re)design a home. Show me an OT with a MArch., then we can discuss. 

    Chuck, I think the conversation was, in all likelihood, Victorian-era design examples. They liked to show off their dead. LOL This era they designed to have large windows, large door openings, high ceilings, etc.. That said, yes, it was not always ideal (small closets spring to mind). However, as a designer for aging in place, Victorian-era like homes are the most ideal for the above examples as the reason and can be redesigned with relatively no fuss. A colonial home, for example, is not ideal. 
    But as a designer, we should be able to create solutions and not have people move, whenever possible. And, there is a growing trend of "designer" nursing homes that have an old fashion feel. It can be what they remember and be comforting to them to have that familiarity around them. One can design an older looking home with modern amenities. I think it is a mistake to simply suggest that they don't want that type of look. Agreeing with you, my father, for example, likes the mid-century modern design. So not everyone likes "older' home looks just from a purely aesthetic point.  I kind of think he is a bit of an anomaly, but I digress. 
    My mom, on the other hand, loved Victorian (thus the knowledge in this area). Dad didn't stand a chance until mom went into the nursing home. No more dark wood loin legged marble-topped tables. Everything is cool woods, san-decorated straight legs, and white. Very, very white.

    I look forward to reading your book. 

    Janet Roche, MDS, CAPS
    Janet Roche Designs, LLC
    Real Design Solutions for the Human Condition
    617-755-7237
    Allied ASID, Affiliate EDAC
    *** Come see me speak at MAD*POW's HXD in Boston on April 2-3, 2019 and at NEOCON, Chicago, June 12, 2019, both on Aging and the Environment ****
    Adjunct Instructor at The Boston Architectural College