The New Urban Village: A Design for Intergenerational Living

Any chance to mingle and collaborate with innovative design-thinkers is a valuable and enjoyable moment.  If you are in the Oakland, California area on August 26, 2009 a lecture and reception presented by the Regional Northern California Design for Aging (DFA) Committee is highly recommended.

Taube-Koret Campus

The lecture topic is the Taube-Koret Campus for Jewish Life in Palo Alto, California; a vibrant community that closes generational gaps, allowing family members of all ages to interact and thrive. This affordable community offers various housing types all within walking distance of  shops, gyms and learning centers, building a strong sense of community. The architect, developer and executive director from this project discuss their experiences bringing this community to life. The program will be followed by a wine and cheese reception.

Featured Speakers:
Rob Steinberg, FAIA – President of Steinberg Architects
Lydia Tam – Interim President and CEO of Bridge Housing
Shelley Hébert – Previous Executive Director of Taube-Koret Campus for Jewish Life

Sponsored by Forell/Elsesser Engineers, Inc.

Wednesday August 26, 2009
Time: 5:30pm—7:30pm including reception
Location: AIA East Bay, 1405 Clay Street, Oakland
Cost:  $10 for DFA/AIA Members & guests; $15 for non-members
Registration Required. Click here to register or go to

CALL 510/464-3600 or EMAIL events

Games for Health Competition

Humana, one of the nation’s largest health benefits companies, sponsors Humana Games for Health (HG4H), to understand how video games can be used to encourage people to have a more active and healthier lifestyle.

HG4H is launching the InsertCoin competition on June 11, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. EDT.  It will conclude at 5:00 p.m. EDT on September 9, 2009.  The competition is for new game concepts that are innovative and entertaining enough to motivate kids, families and seniors to be more active or encourage them to make healthy decisions.

If your idea is selected, you could win a cash prize and have the opportunity to commercialize your ideas. Winners will be announced and posted online at in mid to late November of 2009.

While exploring HG4H be sure to watch the HG4H video for a dose of inspiration:

“The judging panel will be looking for game concepts that are fun for kids, families, seniors – or all three! What we are not looking for are the traditional food, fitness and disease management games.  Since we want people to actually want to play these games, your game idea(s) need to be fun!  In addition to being fun, your game idea(s) must have some sort of health benefit – whether it’s motivating people to move, or just encouraging them to make healthy decisions for themselves and their families.”
The game idea(s):

•    will be judged in 3 competitive categories; Kids, Families, Seniors (65+)
•    can be for single or multi-player games
•    can be played on a video game console, PC/Mac,  mobile device
•    can incorporate accessories, such as GPS, acceleromter, gyroscope, etc.
•    can be used in with fitness gear, like bikes, running shoes, or skateboards
•    can not use technology at all

$10,00 will be awarded as follows:
•    $5,000 – 1st Place Prize
•    $3,000 – 2nd Place Prize
•    $2,000 – 3rd Place Prize

Download official rules here.

During our travels, online and offline, we encountered two games that might be contenders; and will hopefully enhance any user-insight game development sessions.

Memic, A Game of Dance

Stanford University – Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (, offered a two-quarter interdisciplinary course, Design for Agile Aging, in Winter/Spring of 2008 to bring perspectives from Computer Science, Design, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Medicine to develop projects that address the potential of people to maintain vitality and mobility as they age. The projects found innovative ways to integrate computer and device technologies with behavioral and social interventions.

The Spring quarter final project was Memic, a 2-way TV intergenerational dancing experience that creates social connectedness, encourages physical activity and feels more like fun than exercise.  The video explains it well.

memic - dance, play, connect

memic - dance, play, connect

The available presentation explains the concept in detail and offers more insights that pertain to the intersection of fun, physical movement and technology.  We thought the following key points offer ideas on how other existing health technology devices can offer a more attractive experience to the consumer.

  • More people responded to “Dance” than “Exercise”
  • With family = more fun + more motivation
  • Children give (adults) permission to do silly things
  • Intergenerational, coaching dynamic

Bounce, A Common Experience Game

Bounce Telephone Game

Bounce, A Common Experience Game is another game to be played by members of different generations. Ken Goldberg, Irene Chien, Jane McGonigal, and Greg Niemeyer developed Bounce for an expo in San Jose, CA for ISEA in 2006. The game is a tool to engage people of different ages in conversation. During a web-supported phone conversation, the game prepares questions that one young person and an older person answer together. This way, they discover a number of things that they have in common, and perhaps some things that set them apart.

Continue the Conversation…and Bring Your Best Game!

Conversations with Elders with Memory Loss – Spoken Word Stories and Music by Paul Cebar

We really like the fresh perspective this collaboration brings to the music scene in general, artistic entertainment and more importantly, to the voices behind the experience of memory loss.

“Cherry Picking Apple Blossom Time, a collaboration between Duplex Planet creator David Greenberger and Milwaukee music legend Paul Cebar, Wednesday May 13th at 8 p.m. in The Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, WI.
Featuring spoken word stories derived from Greenberger’s conversations with elderly residents of Milwaukee, backed by music composed by Paul Cebar that is seamlessly integrated with the mood of the words.

In 1979, artist David Greenberger began publishing The Duplex Planet, works devoted to his conversations with nursing home residents. Now marking its thirtieth anniversary, his work has been the subject of three documentaries, collected in books, converted into comics, recorded for radio and CD release, and adapted for the stage and film.

The Simpsons creator Matt Groening says “On first reading, this stuff seems merely hilarious. Then it grows on you and becomes strangely moving. Then the moving stuff seems funny, and the funny stuff seems moving. And finally, you’re stunned by the realization that we all live on Duplex Planet.”

Greenberger’s new work draws from his conversations with elders he met during his three-month stay in Milwaukee – all of whom were experiencing some degree of memory loss, ranging from barely noticeable to profoundly fragmented thought. Greenberger’s warmth and respect for people going through one of the most feared aspects of aging shines through the music. He accepts them as they are, following conversations wherever they lead. These are people who still find pleasure in the company of others, and who open, sometimes in very small ways, to someone taking an interest in them.”

Age-Aware Online Education

Earn Continuing and Professional Education credits with courses that have been developed around health, safety, and welfare topics for architects, interior designers, and allied professionals interested in earning CPEs.


There are three types of courses you can choose to improve your knowledge about design and human behavior research, which you can then use to inform your design process:
Text-Based courses:  Read one issue of Implications, InformeDesign’s monthly newsletter, and five Research Summaries, all of which focus on the same topic.
Inquiry: Read an issue of Inquiry, a topic-oriented research brief focused on a single topic in which evidence from InformeDesign is summarized to provide you with a quick method of updating your knowledge.
Web Casts: View a one-hour Web Cast, presented by an expert designer or researcher in the field and focused on a specific topic.

Process and Fees
To earn continuing education credit, read the course materials or view the Web Cast, complete a short 12-question proficiency exam, and submit your materials for evaluation. The fee includes secured access to the course, access to the exam, and a certificate of completion for your records. Each course takes 60-70 minutes to complete.
Text-Based Course Fee        $45 (AIA: 1.0 LU; IDCEC .1 CEU)
Inquiry Course Fee              $65 (AIA: 1.0 LU; IDCEC .1 CEU)
Web Cast Course Fee           $65 (AIA: 1.0 LU; IDCEC .1 CEU)

Some of the course that are available include:

X0709 Transforming Nursing Homes ($45 text based course)  – Innovative design strategies are being developed to support the culture change occurring in today’s nursing homes. This course informs the reader of the results and applications to the design industry.

IQ0801 Designing for the Needs of the Aging Population ($65 Inquiry course) – Learn to understand how to design for the aging population. As we age, we experience many changes in our physical, psychological, and social health, thereby increasing sensitivity to and dependence upon the environment around us

Aging Services of California’s 2009 Public Policy Conference

Take leadership to the next level and be part of the change for the future.

Conference Highlights:

Pioneering Livable Design and Assistive Technology
Eskaton and collaborating organizations are pioneering innovative solutions in home design and technology. that will enable seniors to maximize their independence and remain in their own homes. Experience first hand how innovative home design and emerging technologies can accommodate the needs of today and in the future while touring the Eskaton National Demonstration Home. You will then participate in a two hour discussion on creating collaborative partnerships for innovation.

Technology Expo

Technology that’s accessible, affordable and saves lives: Get a reality check at Aging Services of California’s first Technology Exhibition at the State Capitol. Take this opportunity to experience innovative technologies in senior living and care.

  • American Health Tech, Inc.
  • Dakim, Inc.
  • Eskaton
  • Family Virtual Visits
  • GrandCare Systems
  • Halo Monitoring, Inc.
  • Salient Networks
  • Intel
  • GE Healthcare Systems
  • HealthHero

Fatal Design


The great public cemeteries in the United States all began as monumental landscapes, playgrounds for the picturesque, where the growing middle classes both buried their dead and took refuge from the rapidly industrializing cities. There they could contemplate the “sweet hereafter” in a setting with an obvious kinship to Central Park or the leafy suburbs, then rising as part of the same cultural forces that created the modern cemetery. Still, these silent cities evolved from a social form that gave us a range of civic institutions including the temple and the astronomical observatory, the theater, and the university. But where has this great social form gone in the last century? Fatal Design tells the tale through the rich holdings of the Environmental Design Archives and Library.

Fatal design follows the changing fate of death, which, while final, is anything but static.  It has been said that death replaced sex as the central taboo of modern society.  Changing attitudes towards death have changed the architecture of death.


Environmental Design Library – Volkmann Reading Room
210 Wurster Hall, University of California, Berkeley
Raymond Lifchez and Judith Lee Stronach Exhibition Cases

Exhibition Dates: October 31, 2008 – Jan 16, 2009
Directions & Hours:

Curators: Andrew Shanken, Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture; Waverly Lowell, Curator, Environmental Design Archives

2009 Annual Conference of the American Society on Aging and the National Council on Aging


Aging in America, the 2009 Annual Conference of the American Society on Aging and the National Council on Aging takes place March 15-19 in Las Vegas. The ASA-NCOA Conference, with nearly 4,000 attendees, is recognized as a showcase for programs and projects that can be replicated, a forum for policy discussion and advocacy, and a prime source of information on new research findings in aging. It is the largest gathering of a diverse, multidisciplinary community of professionals from the fields of aging, healthcare and education, along with business leaders from across the United States.

First Annual Film Festival on Aging

First Internatinal Film Festival on Aging

First Internatinal Film Festival on Aging

The International Film Festival on Aging is a celebration of the unique joys, challenges and opportunities of our later years, when our experience and wisdom are finally equal to our passion for life. Through artistic expression, we showcase the singular experience of becoming a true Elder.

Presented by the Pacific Institute and the AgeSong Senior Communities, this film series illustrates the value of our Elders while challenging society’s archaic preconceptions about growing older.

The International Film Festival on Aging will take place from February 20–22, 2009 at premiere film venues across the San Francisco Bay Area, including at the world–famous Castro Theatre. (February 20th at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco; and February 21st & 22nd at the AMC Theatres in San Francisco and Emeryville.)

Films include international, independent and studio productions, from captivating animated shorts to touching and memorable feature length films and documentaries, all of which explore the complex issues of aging.

Positive Aging Conference


November 12, 2008 in Cupertino, CA.
The goal of the 2008 second annual Positive Aging Conference – Achieving Purpose, Meaning, and Vitality in the Second Half of Life is to advance a national conversation and spark local discussion around the concept of positive aging.  World-renowned experts and authors will address the importance of purpose and meaning in later life, and share lessons for health and longevity learned from cultures around the world. This event will blend a live web cast from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing with local presentations, facilitated groups, and networking.

Environments for Aging 2009

Environments for Aging .09

March 29 – 31, 2009

Boston Marriott Copley Place

Environments for Aging is a comprehensive three-day experience, bringing together architects, owners, developers, facilities managers, design professionals, product manufacturers, and government officials to explore and share new ideas for creating attractive and functional living environments that meet the unique needs of our aging population.