An important new design guide
Sharing living spaces in cohousing arrangements
Ahrentzen and Tural reviewed completed studies of how home design influences the activity levels of older individuals. Their “review focuses on six built environment characteristics: (1) barriers, supports and features that ‘fit'; (2) spatial organization and layout; (3) environmental cues; (4) ambient qualities; (5) assistive technologies; and (6) gardens and outdoor spaces.” They learned that “Pathway and corridor design, and environmental cues that convey an instrumental [direct] function of a space . . . facilitated active living.
People have been working at home since they’ve been working. Holliss reviews the evolution of home workplaces. Her work provides an interesting international context for the current development of new homes and at-home workplaces.
Frances Holliss. 2015. Beyond Live/Work: The Architecture of Home-Based Work. Routledge: New York.
As the average age of citizens increases, designing cities that support older people’s wellbeing becomes even more important. The Winter 2015 issue of Public Policy and Aging Report provides information useful to people designing for elders. As a related press release states, “The future of communities around the world will in large part be determined by their efforts to achieve a high quality of life for their older citizens. . . . developing cities that meet the interests of all generations should be an important goal for economic and social policy. . . .
Researchers at Ohio State University investigated factors linked to obesity in a study published in the International Journal of Obesity. They found “two seemingly unrelated but strong predictors of obesity: having low self-esteem related to one's weight and keeping food visibly available around the house, outside the kitchen. . . . architectural features had no relationship to obesity. . . .
Cantrell has identified several types of homebuyers. His work can be used to streamline the residential design process. He determined that “homebuyers fall into four categories and five sub-categories. . . . Each respondent in Cantrell’s survey had to meet the following criteria: They had to have bought an existing, furnished or staged home after 2008; they had to be 25 to 50 years old at the time of purchase and they had to have children under age 19 living at home when they occupied it. . . .
Designing in activity at an affordable resident
Anthropologists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, studied the hormonal balance of men returning home. They determined (and reported in the Royal Society journal Biological Letters) that “Absence, it seems, really does make the heart grow fonder. . . .That’s according to . . . anthropologists, who found that levels of the “love” hormone oxytocin increases among Tsimane men when they come home to their families after a day of hunting. . . .The Tsimane are an indigenous population of forager-farmers and hunters who live in the lowlands of Bolivia’s Amazon basin. . . .
Home design and sedentary behavior are related