Tomorrow will be an exciting day for my classmates and me, as we will be visiting a senior housing complex in the area to conduct a post-occupancy evaluation for our upper-level housing course called Housing and the Social Environment. A post-occupancy evaluation (POE) is commonly described as a systematic analysis of existing designed settings to make future buildings better. Put into simpler terms, we will examine how residents interact with the building's design in a variety of ways, ultimately assessing how residents use the structure and the ways they are influenced by its design. Our work will later be compiled into a comprehensive report and given to the building's developer, which can be a useful tool when designing future assisted living communities.
Housing developments such these have been a hot topic lately in the housing field with the rise of the aging baby boom generation (AKA our parents). Two of my housing courses this fall focus largely on the rising need for accessible housing among the aging population, and I'm excited to get a first-hand look at a new development designed to empower those who live there. Assisted living communities are much different than what most would consider a nursing home, and come in a variety of different forms. They are much like any other urban apartment or condominium complex, but cater to the senior population and incorporate accessible design, lots of community space, and available assistance to promote healthy and supportive living. I feel the overall atmosphere will be a bit different than my freshman residence hall, but we have yet to see for sure.
An intuitively designed setup for successful aging was featured last semester in our very own Goldstein Museum of Design, called Smart House, Livable Community, Your Future. The Goldstein is the only design museum in the upper Midwest and it's right inside of our very own McNeal Hall! I walk by it every day on my way to class, very cool!
Have a great week and study hard!