Intergenerational Facilities: Designing Intergenerational Space through a Human Development Lens
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ABSTRACT The built environment can be structured to encourage or discourage social interaction and can have effects on children's cognitive, social, and emotional development as well as effects on elder's health and well-being. Knowing the profound influence of the built environment on elders (Garin, et al., 2014) and children (Bradford, 2012), the design of intergenerational spaces therefore has the potential to influence the interaction between elders and children engaged in intergenerational programming. Intergenerational care programs present opportunities for cooperation and exchange of skills, knowledge, and experience between people of different age groups (Bradford, 2012; Jarrott, 2011; Kaplan et al., 2002; Newman, 1997). Highlighting the common points and connections between architectural phenomenology and human development theories, this study presents the benefit of developmental theories being applied empirically in architectural design when creating intergenerational facilities in order to enhance the quality of intergenerational interactions. To address this goal, this study examines physical environments that can effectively and efficiently provide intergenerational services. The objectives of this study are to find out (1) whether or not the identification and adaptation of human development theories and architectural phenomenology inform the extension of normative design for intergenerational facilities and (2) in what ways do architectural conditions of an intergenerational space meet the needs of multiple age groups and facilitates interaction. The study uses grounded theory framework to develop a theory related to the influence of spatial design on the quality of intergenerational interactions. To accomplish this, a phenomenological description of different intergenerational spaces was conducted, followed by four to six hours of behavioral/observation mapping of the intergenerational space. The investigator interviewed the architect(s) to ascertain their main ideas and the purpose of designing the building, and the people (participants, educators, coordinators, and facilitators) involved with the intergenerational programs to indicate how the space influences intergenerational interaction. The result of reviewing and analyzing the collected data is a new model of design process grounded in theoretical tenets of personhood and contact theory and applicable for designing intergenerational facilities.
- Doctoral Dissertations