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Ageing & Architecture: Towards Research across Settings.

Activity: Talk or presentation at external institutions/eventsKeynoteInvited

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24 Aug 2022


Architectural design decisions have a significant impact on the individual’s health, well-being, and independence. Especially with the focus on older adults, a large number of individual studies are available and reviews confirm the findings. Although there is less research activity in architecture than in other professions, and the studies carried out were usually not able to implement rigorous study designs with randomization or blinding, a fundamental connection between architectural design and the individual’s health and care outcomes in residential housing, long-term care, hospitals, and rehabilitation clinics has been established.
However, most studies to date focus on specific clinical pictures (such as symptoms of dementia or stroke) as well as singular building typologies (such as nursing homes, hospitals, or rehabilitation clinics), aiming to answer questions about their optimal design. The results are mostly made available to other researchers through scientific papers and conference presentations. Only if there is a large body of research available, reviews may be undertaken, and, ultimately, lead to the proliferation of architectural planning manuals with evidence-based design recommendations that facilitate the transfer of research results into architectural practice.
This current situation does not make the best use of the wide scope of research results available - which would be very much desired for the care of older adults, as they often show a broad picture of age-related limitations and illnesses and also frequent different building typologies - one after the other, or even at the same time. Thus, it becomes clear that a meta-synthesis of the state of research is necessary. An overarching concept of architecture must be developed, that not only takes into account specific clinical pictures but which encompasses different forms of age-related limitations and illnesses, possibly even extending the approach towards a holistic understanding of healthcare architecture.


Title5th Architecture Research Care and Health conference
SubtitleEnabling health, care and well-being through design research
Abbreviated titleARCH22
Conference number5
Duration22 - 24 August 2022
Degree of recognitionInternational event
LocationTU Delft