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Competitions as innovators of space for frail older people: on architecture for the silvering society
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture, Architectural Design. (Arc Plan Research group)
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture, Architectural Design. (Arc Plan Research group)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9715-9656
2012 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the context of the universal ageing process that is currently taking place in western society, the organization of architecture competitions that deals with space for dependent ageing comes of relevance. Based on the welfare regime theory, it could be argued that this type of architecture is part of a national architectural typology. The type of welfare regime does not only supply spatial parameters to respect, but it also align architects’ the spatial visions in order to  incarnate the national socio‐political ambitions. This type of space seems to have a slower pace of change, since a spatial innovation is juxtaposed with sociopolitical reform work of the welfare regime. The present study is an explorative study of programming competition documents and winning entries that were part of the Swedish governmental initiative of 2010,” Growing older, Living well,” to innovate space for ageing by use of architectural competitions. Three municipal architecture competitions that dealt with space for ageing (ordinary or sheltered housing) constitute the framework for this study. These were organized during the period of November 2011 to April 2012, partly sponsored by the Swedish Institute of Assistive Technology (SIAT), which  administered the governmental allocation of 50 million SEK. The research material was accumulated by use of internet searches, interviews and questionnaires. The analysis applied pattern seeking and involved close reading, document analysis and spatial analysis of architectural drawings. The study suggests a preliminary conclusion: programme documents used within the field of architecture for ageing and eldercare emphasize spatial requirements for an overall high architectural quality and long‐term performance, but little attention is paid to the user perspective, how to grow old in a care environment with respect to the WHO policy of active ageing. In addition, the study demonstrates a conservation of existing notions about appropriate architecture for ageing at the expense of an integration of multi‐disciplinary findings on the relation on ageing, eldercare and space. Consequently, architecture competitions that focus on the emerging ageing society could be seen as a restrained type of space for architects to digress. National welfare goals and existing means to achieve these goals act as inhibitors for an innovative spatial preparation for the ageing society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
architecture for ageing and eldercare, architecture competitions, welfare regimes, competition programme, socio‐politics, user values.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-109279OAI: diva2:580836
Boligforskerseminar 2012, "Baeredygtig boligudvikling i forstaden"; Denmark 18-19 September 2012

QC 20130916

Available from: 2012-12-27 Created: 2012-12-27 Last updated: 2013-09-16Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, Jonas ERönn, Magnus
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