3 credits. Letter grades only.
This course focuses on the role of the built environment in fostering healthy development and aging across the lifespan, as well as examining how designed environments can support or limit healthy development and aging. Specifically, it will examine the relationship between children and older adults and their everyday environments at three scales: the city/community, individual spaces/interiors, and at the product/technology level. Through presentations, readings, fieldwork, site visits, design case studies, and community-engaged projects, students will critically explore age-friendly frameworks, and research and design strategies to gain an appreciation of the potential impacts, as well as opportunities and challenges, of designing age-friendly environments. Students will also be introduced to effective strategies and tools for assessing the age-friendliness of communities, spaces, and products, and translating findings from research and best practices into successful, supportive designed environments for children and older adults.
To understand the role and benefits of creating environments which are inclusive of and address the needs of young people and older adults.
To explore and critique age-friendly frameworks and design strategies, with the aim of developing effective approaches and practices for designing environments for children and seniors.
To gain experience carrying out critical environmental assessments, and considering implications for children and seniors, and more broadly for design and planning fields.
To benefit from and contribute to community-engaged projects to support age-friendly environmental design.
To further develop critical thinking and reflection skills, as well as group facilitation and presentation skills, through participation in class discussions and helping to curate course content.