Thriving by Design
BY THE YEAR 2030, it is estimated that 20 percent of the population will be 65 or older. With this, the same baby boomers
who have long exercised their influence on cultural trends, ranging from music to travel to investments, have begun to influence
what the experience of retirement and aging can and should
be. With ten thousand people turning 65 every day, addressing this ever-increasing demographic will be a driving force
in the design industry for years to come. Creating opportunities for people to age with dignity is not just a privilege, but a
responsibility, and helping all people to live with dignity—at all
life stages—is a responsibility design professionals are uniquely
qualified to address.
In the article “Boomer Inspiration” (p. 34), ASID ICON delves
into this powerful generation and the influence it is having on the
ability of seniors to thrive in dedicated living facilities. Whether
planning for their parents or with thoughts of their own future,
boomers are looking for layouts and spaces that promote social-
ization, not isolation; lighting that considers the circadian rhythms
of residents with varying health issues; color combinations that
take into account changes in vision; and options beyond standard,
static dining halls. They want to truly engage with their immediate
surroundings as well as their greater community, and good design
can provide the solution.
The same considerations apply to the practice of “supportive
housing.” In the article “The Power of a Home” (p. 28), ASID ICON
examines this concept that adds a very human element to the standards of affordable, subsidized housing. Intended for the most
vulnerable populations, supportive housing adds social services—
skills training, addiction counseling, mental health, and medical
services—to the equation, placing considerable value on the wellness, progress, and prosperity of its residents.
A safe and nurturing home environment is not a luxury. It’s
among the most basic needs of every human, regardless of age,
influence, or income level. Interior designers have the ability to
empower all individuals to grow up and grow old in environments
that support their health and well-being at every level.
Randy W. Fiser