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Open AccessArticle

Perspectives on “Novel” Techniques for Designing Age-Friendly Homes and Neighborhoods with Older Adults

1
Environment and Geography Department, University of York, York YO10 5NG, UK
2
Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Edinburgh; Edinburgh EH1 1JZ, UK
3
Institute of Gerontology, Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, King’s College London, London WC2B 4BG, UK
4
OPENspace Research Centre, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH1 1JZ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1800; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051800
Received: 12 December 2019 / Revised: 26 February 2020 / Accepted: 3 March 2020 / Published: 10 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Housing and Healthy Ageing)
Worldwide, growth in the older population creates a pressing need to develop supportive environments that enhance quality of life as people age. Too often, built environments present barriers and challenges to older adults that compromise independent living and adversely affect health and life outcomes. Designing homes, buildings, and neighborhoods with older adults, through exercises in participatory or co-design, could help ensure that environments are better able to facilitate healthy aging. However, while it is potentially advantageous to involve this age group in environmental design decisions, doing so can be difficult. Analysis of and guidance on effective ways to involve older adults in these activities could make the challenge easier. With this aim in mind, this article provides critical perspectives on eight “less traditional” engagement techniques—walking interviews, photovoice, photo-elicitation, Talking Mats®, participatory mapping, drawing, model-making, and the “Design Fair”. Insights into the strengths and limitations of these techniques, gained from observation of their use in participatory design activities, as well as feedback collected from older co-design participants, are presented. The article concludes by offering a number of practical recommendations for those interested in designing age-friendly homes and neighborhoods with older people. View Full-Text
Keywords: aging and housing; domestic design and technology; co-design; participatory design aging and housing; domestic design and technology; co-design; participatory design
MDPI and ACS Style

Brookfield, K.; Scott, I.; Tinker, A.; Ward Thompson, C. Perspectives on “Novel” Techniques for Designing Age-Friendly Homes and Neighborhoods with Older Adults. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1800.

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