An Interdisciplinary Approach to Aging and the Built Environment

Design Studios

Professor Bill Carswell asked his fall semester 2012 graduate-level architecture students to create post-career residence designs, drawing on published studies related to housing and baby boomer aging issues. Assuming that most boomers will need to downsize, he asked the students to design either a backyard care cottage or an urban apartment. The students produced five backyard care cottage designs and two urban apartment designs.

In the spring 2013 semester, Professor Bruce A. Johnson asked the students in his Healthy and Sustainable Environments II Design Studio to develop an intergenerational village housing master plan. Dividing the class into four teams, he challenged them to create plans for either a downtown Lawrence set of infill urban sites or a sloping sixty-plus-acre tract on the developing edge of West Lawrence.

The students’ designs and plans created in these two studios are available now as a book, New Cities.

New Cities book cover

New Cities is available from Lulu.





Table of Contents


06 Preface: New Cities

     Dennis Domer

07 Intergenerational Housing

08 Developing a Village Intergenerational Housing Masterplan

     Bruce A. Johnson

12 A Pattern Landscape

     Christine Bono, Stephanie Boyd, Kelly Cheuk, and Jennifer Conforti

18 Village Corridor

     Samantha Auer and Dana Koch

24 Village Green

     Emily Wheeler, Colleen Cassidy, and Michael MacGregor

30 The VillAGE

     Lina Burnett, Marcia Trein, and Sarah Limbocker

36 Post-Career Homeplaces;

36 Backyard Care Cottage

     Bill Carswell

40 Backyard Cottage

     Mariah Trevizo

44 Backyard Cottage

     Mahzad Talaei

46 Backyard Cottage

     Renee Brune

48 Backyard Cottage

     Courtney Fels

50 Urban Apartments

     Rachel Keeven

52 Urban Apartments

     Jesse Bright

New Cities is available from Lulu.


Backyard Care Cottage

Excerpted from New Cities, available from Lulu.

Designed by Lizzy Nikoomanest

This care cottage has a circulation axis from entrance to patio, forming an armature along a skewed diagonal to produce a variable deceptive spaciousness as the space widens along the axis. There are multiple rationalized, decluttering storage options along the edge walls. Repeated vertical grab bars act as discrete residential fall-preventers throughout the work/play features.

Backyard Care Cottage

Kitchen Look-Out

A Detail from Backyard Care Cottage

Excerpted from New Cities, available from Lulu.

Designed by Mahzad Talaei

The small kitchen has several windows. One, above the sink, is wide but shallow, allowing for a downward look-out vista of the garden from the sink location. The others are smaller and allow controlled views of the garden towards the main house but also serve as look-on windows for discrete care-surveillance by the care-giving household.

Kitchen Outlook

No-bend Garden

A detail of a backyard care cottage, excerpted from New Cities, available at Lulu.

Designed by Courtney Fels

This is a garden for one that simulates the motions of tending to a garden while taking into consideration the inability to bend or reach in old age.

No-Bend Garden

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