Huang I-Yang

MArch I

Aging in Rural: An Elderly Home around Shanghai 

Advised by Preston Scott Cohen

There is growing demand for elderly homes in China as the demographic structure ages, and the trend is evident in the booming growth of elderly homes. Elderly homes will eventually have the same importance as housing in general. However, the current urban development model for elderly homes has failed in both affordability and quality. This exploration to develop rural elderly homes is more than just social goods that designers feel obliged to address. Elderly homes raise interesting and unusual architectural questions.  

These questions include, What is the architecture for the last phase in life? How does that prepare people for illness with dignity?  It is also one of the few programs where users stay around the clock. How do we define “good living”?  It is even more pertinent as we are now all involuntarily required to stay at home. It gives us a sense of an excessively lengthy confinement. We should question if we want to design a residence the same way if the stay is for years and decades as opposed to days and weeks.  

This thesis attempts to study and invent an architectural prototype for the most generic Chinese elderly homes and to use that as the ground for investigation, manipulation, and comparison against other elderly homes in countries with longer experience of population ageing. Finally, the thesis wants to arrive at a proposal based on a few assumptions: the new elderly home is humanistic, specific, and economic.  

Drawing with cars parked under buildings