Year: 2015
By: Elizabeth Larkin (EdD), Matthew S. Kaplan (PhD) & 
Stephen Rushton (PhD)


Reflection & Thoughts

This study explored how brain research was used to inform environmental design and learning environments for children. These same theories were used to apply to an intergenerational setting. Although the design of the built infrastructure shapes the way we interact and socialise and the way we commute and cross paths in our everyday lives, the design of the environment in which these contacts take place is equally crucial. 

The list of guidelines for designing intergenerational programme environments: 

  1. Convey a sense of welcome for all who enter and use the setting
  2. Organise spaces to counter social isolation but not violate people’s need for privacy
  3. Avoid stereotypical cues that convey negative inferences about people of a certain age group
  4. Empower participants in making decisions about the uses of space (e.g., adapt shared governance that encourages participants to provide input that is valued by staff)
  5. Incorporate the arts (music, drama, visual arts, etc.) and opportunities for inventive play as a means of mental stimulation and social engagement