Ageing homes: Visual anthropology and the architecture of elderly care

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


    An ageing society has severe implications for the organization of care and residential housing. Existing housing designs as well as public spaces generally are not well equipped for accommodating growing numbers of elderly. The demographic transition to an ageing society runs parallel with transitions in the policy and practice of elderly care, which moves away from institutional buildings and arrangements towards informal support networks of friends, neighbours and family. Despite these transitions in elderly care policy, research on the perception and use of home spaces among older people as well as how to incorporate this knowledge in the design and redevelopment of residential space, is still scarce. There is a need to rethink the architecture of home and living environments for elderly people, as, for example, in how elderly care might be embedded in urban settings or how more inclusive environments might take shape.This paper addresses these issues by reporting first findings of an ongoing anthropological and architectural research on the everyday life of elderly in care centres, located in two Dutch cities. It aims to document and visualize the needs and living conditions of elderly today, as well as translate fieldwork into architectural design. The paper contains three sections. The first section discusses current paradigms in the management, housing policies and architecture of elderly care. The second section proposes a method of researching elderly in daily life by combining visual anthropology and architecture. The third section presents preliminary findings of a fieldwork study in one of the two elderly care homes we worked on, organized as part of a design studio with a group of fourteen students in Architecture.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationConference papers of the European Network for Housing Research (ENHR 2018)
    Subtitle of host publicationMore together, more apart: Migration, densification, segregation
    Number of pages23
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    EventENHR Conference 2018: More together, more apart: Migration, densification, segregation - Uppsala, Sweden
    Duration: 26 Jun 201829 Jun 2018


    ConferenceENHR Conference 2018


    • neighbourhood change
    • ethnic minorities
    • belonging
    • feeling rules
    • social housing

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