Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My abstract and Where we stand.....

By Randy Thoms

Since I have not explained my thesis, here is my latest abstract followed by a series of random thoughts....for you to figure out....

            The Baby Boomers are coming!  The Baby Boomers are coming!  Well, coming of age.  It has been almost 70 years since World War II.  At its conclusion, after the high of victory combined with new found economic prosperity, the victorious soldiers returned (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) and a boom in births erupted in the United States.  This period of increased birth rates is defined by Encyclopedia Britannica between 1946 to 1964, and decades later it is now poised to create significant challenges for the design of the contemporary built environment.  As the healthcare industry develops a better understanding of how to handle and care for the mounting” population of aging citizens, architecture needs to be equally as progressive in its strategies for design.  Not only is there a need for more health care facilities in the United States, but also facilities and communities to house and support a doubling in population of people over 65 by 2030 to 70 million as stated by Nancy Lisbon in 2006.  The following paper will examine research and precedents that inform a new approach for the design of senior housing with affordability and amenities leading the research.  
            The discussion of designing this new benchmark for senior living begins with affordability and progresses into New Urbanism  with ideas rooted in compact, walkable communities.  Senior citizens can intentionally  live in these urban environments due to the proximity of a wide variety of activities and services and short travel distances to the surrounding people; interlaced with this strategy is the chance for revitalization of the larger community through a much needed boast to the local city economy and government. With a mixture of mid-rise apartments, landscaped streets and activity centers, a new “cityscape” environment will enhance not only the resident’s lifestyles, but the local fabric of an urban infill. 
            As we work through our classes and studios, most of us will be thinking of ARC 532 Global History and the structure model and wondering, "If You Built It" will it look like something a third grader did or a master's student?  So we all need to work with some vigor to make a presentable project.  Mine is dealing with Inca stonework while others are "Planning Designs for Daylight" within buildings of  the Non-western architecture along with the "Wind Towers" of the middle east.  Such is the "Life of a Saluki Architecture Grad Student" and some may ask "Why Did I Decide to Continue My Education at SIU?"  For me, something a stay-at-home dad can to fill time and to get a job, but "Ethically Speaking" "My Experiences in Graduate School Thus Far" have been fun, exciting, hard and frustrating all at the same time.  With "Lessons Learned So Far", I have better presentation and computer skills as well as "Stretching the Definition of the House" and learning about different eras of architecture such as "Brutalism" and what it means to have varied "Thesis Case Studies" to support your body of work.

Definition: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/47555/baby-boom
Lisbon, N. (2006). The Sad State of Affordable Housing for Older People. Generations, 29(4), 9-15.

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