Welcome to the Ageing Future

Acrisis of ageing looms, the baby boom generation is coming into retirement andwe are living longer. This thesis explores solutions to our care deficiency, elderly mobility issues, community fragmentation and our attitudes towards theelderly.

The thesis aims to achieve a utopian solution to the later stages of life, retirement as a whole, not merely the final stage of life, which is so often compromised by illness. My research into the provision of elderly care and retirement villages in the UK convinced me that a template for a community of residents at all stages of retired life could be established. This template is applied over the 22,000 people over 65 in and around Huddersfield. This population is broken down by area into a polycentric network of communities. The thesis focuses on the largest of these centres; a care community for over 6000 people. 

Designingfor 6000 residents individually would be a monumental task and therefore a codewas written, based on earlier research into cybernetics, that would activelydistribute form, programme and services to the specification of the requireddemographic of the community and within the constraints of the site. The codeis therefore an endlessly flexible modeling tool for complete retirementcommunities.

Organisedradially, the community allows for maximum integration with the surroundingcontext at the outskirts for the most independent residents whilst providingthe security, protection and efficient care facilities required by the moredependent residents at the centre. Run and managed by a governing committeemade up of active residents, each community benefits from a wealth of skills,developed and honed over a lifetime of work.

Eachlevel of the model is defined as a product of the one beneath it throughcellular automation using excel, this allows the form and volume to beaccurately controlled. The code, written in Maya, then evaluates each volumerelative to its position in the model and to the conditions of its neighboursto determine its programme typology and service requirements before theappropriate design script can be implemented and its form takes shape. The codecould now be applied to the other communities in the network by simply definingthe site constraints and the number of prospective residents broken down byage.

Eachnew community takes roughly 10 seconds to calculate and design.