The Design Observer Group

Posted 06.25.10


New Aging

Places and Architizer are pleased to announce the start of a new affiliation: Architizer will create an exclusive series of thematic design portfolios for Places, and Places will share selected content with Architizer. Architizer is a crowd-sourced database of firms and projects, in which transparency becomes the currency that unites the design field across geography and practice. Places at Design Observer explores critical issues in contemporary architecture and urbanism, focusing in particular on the public realm as physical place and social ideal. Our partnership will benefit from Architizer's wide net of constantly-updated building projects, and will be sharply defined through Places' curatorial lens.

The Editors, Places and Architizer


For our first portfolio for Places, we've selected a group of projects designed to serve the diverse needs and desires of aging populations.

In some European countries, more than one-third of the population is over 50. At the same time, cities are becoming younger than ever, magnets for the rising professional generation. How can we accommodate rapidly aging populations in fast-growing and increasingly youthful cities? How can  elderly urbanites be made to feel a relevant part of society? Can we develop alternatives to the condo community in Florida? In the years to come, architects will need to develop new solutions to address new demographics. 

Matthias Hollwich, one of the principals at HWKN and a founding partner of Architizer, is organizing a conference, New Aging, to be held at the University of Pennsylvania this fall. The AIA has issued a call for presentations for "an intergenerational project that includes housing for frail elders and is an integral part of an urban community." Architizer ran an affiliated design competition called the New Aging Award.

The projects presented here — some of the best of the competition entries — propose solutions both practical and far-fetched, examining how we treat our elders and how age groups disperse as human life expectancy is extended.

Kelsey Keith