Professor Paul Jones, Northumbria University; Professor Glenda Cook; Dr. Kay Rogage, Northumbria University Professor; Nic Palmarini, Newcastle University
Competition Sponsor: UK Research & Innovation
The housing industry in the UK does not respond to the challenges of growing old. It continues to build homes that are very difficult to adapt, compromising the ability of people to age in place. Digital and sensor technology- as well as adaptability innovations through Modern Methods of Construction (MMC)- have the capacity to be game changing. These technologies could enable the domestic environment to be tailored to support the particular needs of the occupant, so that they could live independent lives for as long as possible. Integration of this technology would represent a significant individual and societal financial saving for care costs and reduce the heartache and stress of a change of environment and lifestyle late in life.
The project team have been offered seven plots and funding in Seaham Garden Village- an innovative housing scheme of 1500 houses in County Durham. This high-profile development is a collaboration between private developers (IDP Partnership, Plan B, Tolent, Karbon Homes) working with Northumbria University. The ambition here is to use the catalyst grant to bring together a co-design team that is comprised of healthcare practitioners, architects, designers, building users and academics (with expertise in architecture, health, gerontology, computer science and software engineering) to design tech-enabled prototype houses, as flexible supportive environments, to support people across their life course.
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