Design for Aging

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

DFA Local and State Components

By Brian D. McLaren AIA posted 12-31-2017 12:00 AM


While Design for Aging, a Knowledge Community of the American Institute of Architects is a 3,000 member national organization based in Washington, DC, only a handful of members actually ever come face to face, but this is rapidly changing. Design for Aging has emerged in major metropolitan areas across the country represented by local AIA Components. Typically they meet monthly exploring a wide range of topics reaching a much broader constituency than experienced in the past.

National conferences where DFA maintains a strong presence such as the LeadingAge (formerly American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging) and Environments for Agingtend to attract a limited number of principals, partners and key staff members representing DFA. To the contrary, many if not most local DFA Committee attendees are rank and file staff, students and individuals with a passion for improving the lives of seniors through design, who otherwise might not participate at the national level. Since meetings are held monthly in multiple locations, DFA’s influence is reaching deeper into the design, development and operations of all aspects of Senior Living.

For more information on component activities including past, current and future programs or if you are interested in joining an existing committee feel free to contact any of the local committee chairs. Should you be interested in starting a Design for Aging Committee in your area, contact David Banta,AIA.

Please send updated DFA component information to Updates on component activities can be found in the DFA newsletter, Blueprints for Living, and below.

Active chapters

AIA Kansas City (brand new)
Leah Fitzgerald, Assoc. AIA

Boston Society of Architects
Diane Dooley, AIA and Ruth Neeman, AIA

AIA Seattle
Mark Smedley

AIA San Francisco
Tom Brutting, AIA

AIA New York City
Lisa Morgenroth and Christine Hunter

David Banta

AIA Iowa
Shane Larsen, AIA

Developing Chapters

AIA Chicago
Steven Montgomery, AIA

AIA St. Louis
Nancy Rodney, AIA

AIA Baltimore
Magda Westerhout, AIA

AIA Honolulu
Hannah Wong, AIA

AIA Philadelphia