Penn conference explores architecture for the elderly

With the number of senior citizens in the United States expected to continue increasing in the decades to come, the need for suitable housing is also expected to rise. In a call to action to find creative as well as pragmatic solutions to providing housing for the elderly, Penn’s School of Design is bringing together more than a dozen experts to discuss the issue.

The New Aging conference will take place Oct. 1 and 2 with architects, researchers, care providers, politicians, urban planners, sociologists and psychologists exploring concepts and design to advance the realm of senior citizen housing.

Penn Design lecturer Matthias Hollwich, the organizer of the New Aging conference, says when thinking about the future of senior citizen housing, architects should design for themselves, taking “into account that moving and socializing will get harder” and that “architecture, urbanism, and products and services need to compensate for that.” Hollwich is the co-founder of Hollwich Kushner (HWKN), a New York City based architecture and concept design firm.

Visionary architects including Juergen Mayer H. and Charles Renfro are expected to attend the conference and share cutting-edge design solutions. Joseph Coughlin of MIT’s AgeLab and Gregory Stock of Signum Biosciences will also attend, and are expected to discuss aging trends, technology and care for the elderly.

According to the Administration on Aging (AOA), an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as of 2009, 12.9 percent of Americans—approximately 39.6 million people—were 65 years old or older. The AOA estimates that by 2030, there will be about 72.1 million senior citizens in America.

Visit for additional information about the New Aging conference.

Originally published on September 29, 2010