This book presents and interprets the stories of nine actors involved in the design, construction, management and habitation of third age housing in the UK. The primary motivation behind this book is to offer a creative practice research perspective to the field of gerontology – through anthropology by means of design – and, specifically, an architectural ‘insider’ view on the designed environments of retirement housing. One distinct intention of this work is to amplify the voice of architects among associated researchers, but also, through sharing aspects of the underlying multi-sited ethnography, give voice to some overlooked actors within the research field that are equally well-placed to contribute to design discussions of retirement-living products. Readers are invited to consider the question of how designers – professional or otherwise – can facilitate the wellbeing of older people in their homes, by optimising design details of these micro environments, in support of collective ambitions to age in place for as long as possible. Related to this, it is anticipated that readers might seek authentication of retirement housing – as products marketed as ‘specialist’ housing options – asking the question whether all housing should be age-friendly. The book is especially relevant to scholars in the fields of ageing and environmental gerontology, as well as architecture and the built environment. It will also appeal to industry professionals and practitioners from the housing sector more broadly. The visual vignettes and variety of writing approaches – from storytelling to reflective accounts – make this an accessible, transdisciplinary book. It may also be read by people preparing for later life.
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