Growing old in architecture

Old man
Image via Wikipedia

On October 1 and 2, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture, a conference called New Aging “will investigate recent advances in architecture and urbanism dealing with age-related challenges.” As Matthias Hollwich, the conference’s instigator, phrases it, designers can work to positively transform the aging process “not by building nursing homes for the elderly, but by creating architecture that supports a life that we personally would also be interested in living when old.”

A series of workshops?Prototyping, Envisioning, Visiting, and Applying the Future?will focus on specific innovations “that assure the best utilization with the utmost dignity for age.” Each will “search for a new type of architecture that envisions aging as a normal part of life” and that will “help reintegrate the elderly into community life.”

Age-appropriate infrastructures for the city have popped up here before?specifically, decoy infrastructures and the retiming of the metropolis to account for slower residents?and it’s a topic I’m intensely interested in exploring in more detail. If you’re able to attend the conference, I’d love to hear how it goes.