HOW CAN INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE HELP CHILDREN AND ELDERLY PEOPLE TO INTERACT AND BENEFIT FROM EACH OTHER?
What did you want to find out?
I wanted to find out how an interior can affect people’s well- being and stimulate people’s need for interaction, socialisation, learning and development, and activity. I wanted to find out how children and elderly people could interact in a natural way and benefit from each other. To do so, I had to find out what needs and commonalities they have, and how I can exploit that in my project.
What was the result?
I have created a kindergarten and an elderly home under the same roof. Both groups have individual areas intended for them and their use, but they also share rooms and areas that are meant for interaction. Some rooms are intended for spontaneous interaction, whereas others are set up for certain activities that are beneficial for them both. I have spent a lot of time on the layout and design to make it as user friendly as possible for children, the elderly, staff and visitors.
Who will especially benefit from your project?
My project will benefit both the children and the elderly. It is designed in a way that gives both groups an opportunity to participate in several activities that will stimulate them physically and psychologically. Based on my research, I see a huge potential and many benefits of letting these two groups spend time with each other. I also believe that parents of children can benefit from having their parent(s) under the same roof as the kindergarten their child goes to.
What could this mean for society?
For society, this project can help to bring generations together and, in that way, benefit from each other. The layout and design also enable the elderly and children to participate fully in activities that they normally don´t do in existing elderly homes. Partly combining the two institutions reduces the space needed when building. As the big cities continue to expand, utilising available space is important. Building and administration costs can also be reduced by having both groups under the same roof.