ASID Committee on Adaptive Living Releases Senior Living Resource Guide

(May 22, 2023 – Washington, D.C.) – The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) released its first Senior Living Resource Guide, addressing the role of interior design professionals to consider the health and well-being of older individuals who want to live autonomously. Developed by ASID’s Committee on Adaptive Living, the guide provides insight on the current challenges of senior living communities and offers solutions for practitioners to adopt as they support this demographic in the built environment.

“As the population of older adults continues to increase, designers must pivot their work in order to foster supportive spaces that tackle the needs of this community,” said Khoi Vo, Chief Executive Officer of ASID. “The work produced by the ASID Committee on Adaptive Living delivers a thoughtful resource for practitioners as we address our responsibility to improve the independence and wellbeing of this population through the built environment.”

Established in 2022 to promote adaptive design solutions for older adults living in community-based and multi-generational environments following the impact felt by aging populations from the COVID-19 crisis on commercial and residential spaces, ASID’s Committee on Adaptive Living includes ASID-nominated design professionals across North America: Co-chair Alison Faecher, ASID, NCIDQ, EDAC, LEED AP, Co-chair Ruju Jasani, ASID, NCIDQ, SEED, Jill Andrews, ASID, NCIDQ, CID, Patty Dominguez, Perrin Graham-Jackson, Associate ASID, Kerrie Kelly, FASID, NKBA, Adair Pagnotta, ASID, CHID, NCIDQ, Ron Piester, AIA, Margi Kaminski, ASID, CLBG, NCIDQ, and Matthew De Geeter, ASID, LEED AP.

Through the collection and review of journalistic reports and institutional findings published during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senior Living Resource Guide reflects input from medical doctors and healthcare specialists, along with architecture and interior design professionals, to reimagine design solutions for these environments and provide designers with practical solutions.

Challenges explored in the guide include social isolation, the spread of illnesses and lack of choices for leisure and living environments, which have impacted the mental and physical health of many adults over the age of 65. From this research, the guide equips designers with tools to design for safe community interaction, prevent social isolation and improve the wellbeing of residents, caregivers, and employees in these spaces. After careful consideration of these needs, the committee formulated eight principles for the design of healthy community living: designing for autonomy, alleviating isolation, prioritizing connectivity, facilitating engagement, integrating wellness, elevating building systems, emphasizing attainability, and leading stakeholder collaboration. With each principle in mind, the guide details a design strategy that better supports adults aged 65 and over in shared public thresholds, semi-public thresholds, and private thresholds.

Later this year, ASID’s Committee on Adaptive living will issue a companion guide to the Senior Living Guide to address residential living formats, including single family, co-living, and modular applications, and mixed-use typologies, utilizing a universal design approach for all household zones, using their principles of design for healthy community living.

A useful guide for all interior design practitioners, the Senior Living Resource Guide is free to ASID members and $99 for non-members.Download the guide today.