Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 36

EFA DESIGN SHOWCASE

Seen and heard
EFA Design Showcase jurors share an inside look at their review of this year's competition
submissions and weigh in on what they thought were hits and misses BY ANNE DINARDO

E

ach year we ask the EFA Design Showcase jurors to provide their perspectives on what they saw in the entries
they reviewed-What stood out? What was
missing? What lessons can be learned from
the winning projects? This input provides a
snapshot of the industry, where it stands and
where there's still room for improvement.
The picture painted by jurors this time
around is one where innovation was noticeably missing. CC Andrews, president of
Quantum Age Collaborative (Cleveland), attributes the trend to a shortage of projects that
fall outside traditional senior living settings,
with projects in hospice care, mixed-use
developments, and multigenerational living
unrepresented. "All are important parts of our
developing ecosystem," she says. Examples
of robust collaboration between design
teams, internal stakeholders, and communities at large were also in short supply.
"I suspect these two trends are linked: The
more diverse the input, the more unique and
successful the solution," she says.
Although innovation was lacking from
many of the submissions, jurors saw standard
designs elements being better executed,
even creating some new norms, says juror
Mark A. Proffitt, PhD, University of WisconsinMilwaukee. For example, Proffitt says he
saw continuing care retirement communities
adapting to the active lifestyles of older adults
by expanding their dining options to include
grab-and-go, display kitchens, and more informal venues, and several memory care projects
embraced design ideas such as creating smaller care settings that feel
more residential. "They're concepts
that are decades old but are becom-

36

EFAmagazine.com * Spring 2017

ing more apparent," Proffitt says.
Overall, this year's class represented a
lot of proven solutions, but with a few new
takes.

Interior details
Jurors say they found several examples
in the submissions that illustrated design
teams are making strides in delivering
senior living interiors. "They finally figured
out lighting," says Maria Lopez, director
of design at JSR Associates Inc. (Ellicott
City, Md.). As more lighting products such
as LEDs become cost effective, project
teams have more options to specify to help
improve senior living environments, Lopez
says. One of this year's Award of Meritwinning projects, The Cottage at Cypress
Cove (see page 40), earned praise for its
tunable circadian lighting system, which is
designed to help memory care residents
regulate the timing of functions such as
waking and sleeping.
Mike McKay, vice president of architecture at Erdman (Madison, Wis.), adds that
projects also incorporated better designed
and more functional lighting fixtures to provide appropriate level, color, and light temperature. "Lighting should be more about
enhancing the quality of the environment,
following and enhancing the natural cycle of
daylight and nighttime, and not be a source
of glare for the residents," he says.

Community areas with more open, flexible
space plans that allow for a variety of interactions and provide residents with choice were
appreciated by jurors, as well. "One size does
not fit all," Andrews says. "Some residents
appreciate larger group activity while others
prefer more intimate interaction." Many jurors
agreed, saying the most successful projects
struck a balance between open and closed
spaces. "Semi-private areas in common
areas are just as important," Proffitt says. "No
one wants to be 'on stage' at all times when
out in public."
Too much openness, however, can
contribute to excessive noise and confusion-and the Showcase jurors noted that
this year's projects showed there's still room
for improvement when it comes to acoustics.
Many projects had high ceilings in dining
areas and lobbies and lots of hard surfaces,
which can affect speech intelligibility and
cause fatigue as residents struggle to hear
someone talk. "Noise in the
environment will create confusion for those residents dealing
with hearing loss in the assisted
living population, and it can
cause agitation among those
residents in memory care,"
McKay says.


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Environments for Aging - Spring 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Environments for Aging - Spring 2017

Environments for Aging - Spring 2017
Contents
EFAmagazine.com
Editorial
Show Talk
Bulletin
Come together
All ages welcome
Welcome
2017 Jury
Seen and heard
A reinvention
Illuminating ideas
In the details
Project directory
EFA Design Showcase
Product gallery
Q+A
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Environments for Aging - Spring 2017
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Cover2
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 1
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 2
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 3
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Contents
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 5
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - EFAmagazine.com
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 7
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 8
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 9
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Editorial
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 11
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Show Talk
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 13
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Bulletin
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 15
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 16
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 17
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Come together
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - All ages welcome
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Welcome
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 33
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 2017 Jury
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 35
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Seen and heard
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 37
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - A reinvention
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 39
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Illuminating ideas
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - 41
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - In the details
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Project directory
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - EFA Design Showcase
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Product gallery
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Q+A
Environments for Aging - Spring 2017 - Cover3
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