Design for Aging

By Brian Pape

Our forum is dedicated to the needs of the aging population in an urban environment, by exploring design issues, developing universal design recommendations, increasing public awareness, and educating professionals in various fields of those needs, to create a more age-friendly City.

The committees of the AIA New York Chapter contribute to the field of architecture, whether through discussion, advocacy, policy making and development, event and exhibition planning, or other endeavors. AIA members, AIA Associate Members, and non-members are all welcome to participate in our committees.
We would like more people to join us as we explore a wider range of options and have a stronger influence on projects and programs in NYC and beyond. If you wish to participate, please contact committee co-chairs. For more information about getting involved with a committee, please contact Eve Dilworth Rosen, Director of Program Committees, at

Contact Information

Committee Chairs

Christine Hunter, AIA; Principal, Magnusson Architecture & Planning 

phone:  212 253 7820 x5680; email:

Brian J. Pape, AIA, LEED-AP; Principal, Brian J. Pape Architect & Consultant PC

phone: 917-334-3293; email:



Meeting Dates and Locations 

Proposed Committee Meeting Dates for 2017: 1/26; 2/23; 3/23; 4/27; 5/25; 6/22; 7/27; 9/28; 10/26; 11/16; 12/14

Tafel Hall Dates for 2017: March 8th, June 5th, and November 1st


Seniors in the City – Design Considerations for Health and Wellness

AIA CES: 1.5 LU | 1.5 HSW
When: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8 Where: At The Center

In 2010, 12.2% of New York City residents were 65 years or older; this number will increase to 15.6% in 2040 making the older adult population larger than that of school aged children. As such, the built environment will need to be designed to a more thoughtful and informed level to meet the needs of this growing population, especially in housing and healthcare.

Traditionally, the design community has responded to this population's needs through the creation of long-term care facilities. Instead, today, architects, designers, and clinicians are focusing on creating environments that encourage wellness and healthy living for older adults outside the traditional senior care facility such as creating Age-Friendly Neighborhoods throughout NYC, Geriatric Emergency Departments, and Centers for Healthy Living, a new paradigm to provide seniors fitness, therapeutic and cultural environments that can become a vibrant community resource.

Join the AIANY Design for Aging Committee for a discussion about the physical, emotional and sensory changes that occur during the aging process and how the design of the built environment can provide support and facilitate independence whether at home, in a healthcare setting or living in the community.


Esther Greenhouse, Environmental Gerontologist
Ula Hwang, MD, Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center
Richard Rosen, AIA, Principal, Perkins Eastman

Moderator: Lindsay Goldman, Director, Healthy Aging, Center for Health Policy and Programs, New York Academy of Medicine

Organized by: AIANY Design for Aging Committee
Price: Free for AIA members and students with valid ID; $10 for general public.

On March 9, a full day event co-sponsored by DFA will be held at CFA, on the topic of Universal Design, the application of ergonomics, disability design and the ADA across the broad spectrum of ages and abilities. See the AIANY website and calendar for details.

We invite speakers on pertinent topics to give brief talks to start our regular meetings. Recent examples are: On April 28, Cathey Billian, DFA Committee Member and Professor of Art and Design at Pratt Institute, presented the work of Billian Studio, which focuses on environmental structures and the human experience of nature.  Artists, she feels, can deepen the visitor’s perceptual experience of nature through unique interpretations of - and in - the surroundings; she has created many projects in national parks that celebrate a river, visually enhance a walk on a bridge, and so on. 

On May 26, Karen Kubey, architect, who has managed the Advisory Committee for the Aging in Place Guide, and edited its content, updated us on its progress.
During our June 23rd meeting, a colleague of Committee Member Meenakshi Varandani, Bulbul Mankani,  who has worked with a leading Senior Housing Development Team in India (Ashiana Group), presented recent work in India.  

The Archive of previous events are included after the DFA References and Links Sections of the site.

For your information, we've added minutes from regular meetings, at the very bottom of this webpage.

 2016 Initiatives

Reports of 2016 activities involving members and activities with our DFA members.


DFA event in Tafel Hall on 9/15: The Launch of the Aging in Place Guide, and a presentation of Enterprise Aging in Place Principles, in collaboration with Enterprise, AARP, and DFTA. Christine moderated the panel presentations and discussion to a full house.

DFA has been awarded a VP Citation for our work on the Aging in Place Guide.

Click on link-  files/DFA/AIANY-VP%20Citations%20Design%20for%20Aging%20Committee%202016.pdf

May 31, 2016: Connecting research and age-friendly design.
 Research is happening at multiple scales and in different arenas on the topic of designing for the aging population, from promoting individual health and well-being to understanding what constitutes a supportive community for seniors.  This panel explored how academic and independent research produces knowledge that can be utilized by designers so that environments can be created in an age-friendly manner.  Joint sponsored by Design for Aging and Social Science Research and Architecture Committees.

Our sub-committee is working with NYCHA Amsterdam Houses to re-design their lobby for better amenities; click here to learn more.

Mayor de Blasio comes to the Town Hall meeting on Senior Housing, January 27, 2016; click hereHeld at Lincoln Square neighborhood center.

L to right
Margarita Curet, president of Amsterdam Houses Residents Association; Herbert Oppenheimer, AIA Design for Aging Committee;  Gail Ressler, AIA Design for Aging Committee;  Mayor Bill deBlasio.


 Documents of Reference by AIANY DFA Committee



An article in Co.Design by Meg Miller reports on the Aging-in-Place Guide launched by DFA and the DFTA, as noted in Events. Click the link to read the story:

The two documents below were written by members of the Design for Aging Committee in May 2011, aiming to increase awareness about possibilities for making design & construction of the physical environment more age-friendly, specifically for seniors, but also for people in all age groups.


Top 10 Ways Architects Can Become Age-Friendly


Urban Design and Architectural Guidelines for an Age-Friendly New York City



The goal of this sub-committee is to develop innovative affordable housing designs that offer improved possibilities for urban senior living, through a day-long charrette and an architectural competition, on Saturday, May 18, 2013, at the Center for Architecture. 

The aim of the Charrette, BOOMING BOROUGHS: Redesigning Aging-in-Place in NYC, is to develop innovative urban housing models for senios households that are socially and economically viable and sustainable.

Primary contacts: Jerry Maltz, AIARichard Rosen, AIA; Lisa Morgenroth, Assoc. AIA 


The article Aging In Place: There's No Place Like Home was written by two members of the AIANY DFA Committee, Jerry Maltz and Christine Hunter; it originally appeared in Oculus, Winter 2012 issue, the quarterly magazine of the AIANY Chapter.


This is a link to an article in ICON, the magazine of the American Society of Interior Designers. Christine Hunter was interviewed by the author. It has some interesting comments on the strengths and sensitivities of interior designers (as compared to architects) especially with regard to creating multi-sensory age-friendly interior environments.

AIA Platform Statement to encourage candidates for Mayor of NYC to think about ways to improve the urban environment for our growing senior population. 

On May 28, 2013 several members of the AIANY DFA Committee spoke at the NY Public Library, 42nd Street Central Building, about Design for a Lifetime: Preparing Your Home for Successful Aging.  A video of the event is available at

Age-friendly Colleges Age-friendly New York City, a joint venture of the Office of the Mayor, the City Council and the New York Academy of Medicine, produces a free service for older adults.  "Age-Friendly NYC College Link," an online, searchable database of educational opportunities available at the New York City-area colleges and universities.

Age-Friendly NYC: Enhancing Our City's Livability for Older New Yorkers, a report published by the NY Academy of Medicine and the Bloomberg Administration, August 2009


Links of Interest for the DFA Community 


The City Dept. of Design and Construction issued the new Guiding Priciples in March 2016. These Principles aim at improving the urban experience for NYC citizens of all ages and abilities.

The publication will directly support DDC’s Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 program, which delivers innovative and enduring public buildings and infrastructure through partnerships with renowned design and construction professionals.


Habitat Magazine's article on Aging in Place has interesting news; click here to read the article.

Evidence Matters, the entire Fall 2013 issue, published by HUD Office of Policy Development & Research is devoted to Aging in Place

5 Good Things About Aging, article in Consumer Report 'onHealth', May 2013

Low-Rise High Density Housing, Architizer magazine article

Transforming Aging Through Healthier Design, 10 page summary of a panel discussion that occured on November 2012

Environmental Geriatrics Course: Improving Function & Safety, originally presented at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University.


Local Leaders: Healthier Communities Through Design,a report published by the AIA DFA Knowledge Community.


Creating Lifelong Communities in the Atlanta Region, an article from the American Architectural Foundation (AAF), about a 9-day charrette sponsored by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC). 


Universal Design Summit: Creating Livable Homes & Communities - a conference on May 6-9, 2013 in St. Louis, MO


Happiness the Becker Way: the All-Inclusive Humanitas Philosophy with Regard to Care for the Elderly


Housing in America: The Baby Boomers Turn 65 - a new publication from the Urban Land Istitute (ULI) explores opportunities and chalenges in housing the nations's older citizens


Report on Design for Aging Forum held in February 2012 by the American Architectural Foundation (AAF)


Former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros Talks about Aging in Place - article in the Washington Post, August 13, 2012


Creating a Virtual Integrated Village (VIV) - talk by Professor Dennis Domer, University of Kansas


adAPT Competition to design a micro-unit of approximately 300 square feet of living space in NYC, aimed at housing singles.  


Public Housing in Vienna Traveling exhibition to examine unparalleled architecture of Viennese public housing. 


Future City Center Living and the Aging Society: Attitudes to Mixed-Use Developments in the UK


The AIA Continuing Education team is offering archived courses from the AIA  Conventions; and more than 30 Learning Units from AIA's existing course catalog. Many of the courses qualify for HSW credit in topics like ADA and design for aging.


Best Cities for Successful Aging- a new report by the Milken Institute ranking 359 metro areas in the U.S.; New York was #5


Living Fully: Resources for Aging Well in the City - A Manhattan guide for seniors published in 2013 by the Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer


Archive of Events

2015 Public Events

December 10, 2015: Universal Kitchen and Bath Design for Health and Longevity; Speaker:  Mary Jo Peterson, CKD, CBD, CAPS, President of Mary Jo Peterson, Inc., Brookfield, CT

 The perspective of this program on Universal Design emphasizes elements really wanted in the home, particularly in the bathroom and kitchen. Universal design should be an inherent part of all residential projects, certainly with respect for the aging process, but more with respect for the differences among us. With the goal being motivation towards a healthy and independent lifestyle, this program will consider trends that are driving universal design and some of the concepts and products that are supportive of the health and longevity that our clients and our society are seeking. General Trends;Design Trends; Kitchen Concepts and Products; Bath Concepts and Products; Case Studies. Location:  Hafele America Co. 


Nov. 12, 2015: a full day seminar on "Extreme Heat", a topic of interest for the Design for Aging Committee, in collaboration with the Design for Risk and Reconstruction. Click here for more information.

Nov. 19, 2015: Virginia Tech FutureHAUS:  Smart Architecture for People of All Ages. Speaker: Joseph H. Wheeler, AIA, Co-Director Center for Design Research, Virginia Tech
The Virginia Tech FutureHAUS is a working prototype of the Virginia Tech, Center for Design Research, which proposes an innovative new approach to the way we construct buildings. By embracing the multiple benefits of prefabrication, a home can now be created faster, for less money and resulting in less waste, while responding better to the diverse needs of all potential residents. Precision manufacturing, flexible use space planning, an advanced passive energy scheme, and smart home technologies empowering the emerging benefits of the “Internet of Things”all merge to provide comfortable and sustainable housing in a small footprint. The presenter highlighted the innovative and award winning FutureHAUS prototype, its innovative modular construction process and its integrated smart technologies. He then proposed how we can implement these concepts to better design for communities and their aging residential needs. At the end of the presentation, a discussion about the challenges and seeming contradictions of using technology for assisting the elderly was held. Location:  Hafele America Co. 


Oct. 6, 2015: AGING IN PLACE IN NYC: A Community-Based Prototype for 60 Amsterdam Avenue; Event in Tafel Hall, AIANY CFA; Moderator: David Burney 

How can our existing multi-family buildings be improved and upgraded to accommodate growing numbers of senior residents? This panel addressed the inter-relationship between housing and health issues, the problems of social and physical isolation, and the need for an evolving range of services that residents may require with increasing age and fragility. A prototype for the ground floor renovation of a 13-story NYCHA building is being developed through collaboration between the Amsterdam Houses Residents’ Association, the NYC Housing Authority, and the Chapter’s Design for Aging Committee, with help from local public officials. The challenges and progress of this initiative and the wider applicability of its approach were the evening’s focus

  1. Introduction of Public Officials and AHRA President; Remarks by Invited Public Officials: 
    •   Manhattan BP – Gale Brewer 
    •   Council Member – Helen Rosenthal; Remarks by Margarita Curet, President of Amsterdam Houses Residents’ Association; Panelist 1 – Lindsay Goldman (NYAM) – Panelist 2 – Bruce Eisenberg (NYCHA) Panelists 3 & 4 – Gail Ressler & Christine Hunter (DFA Committee) 


 June 11th, 2015: Housing for NYC Seniors: Evolving Programs and Regulations; Speakers: Clair Hilger, Director, Housing Office, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens (on behalf of LiveOn NY) Ray Hodges, Director of Planning and Development, Division of Special Needs Housing, NYC Dept of Housing, Preservation and Development Stacy Passmore, AICP, LEED AP, Project Manager, Housing, Economic and Infrastructure Planning, Dept of City Planning Moderator: Evelyn Wolff, Director of Housing Development, Selfhelp Community Services; at Tafel Hall, CFA

Over the next 25 years, the number of New York City residents over age 65 is projected to grow by 40%. As more of us live longer, the increase in the number of frail elderly, primarily those over 85, will be even greater. There is a critical need for new and renovated housing to accommodate our seniors, as well as for services to those “aging in place” in their current apartments. To address this growing demand, changes to the City’s Zoning Resolution that would facilitate the creation of more affordable senior housing are currently being considered. In addition, the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has rolled out new senior housing funding programs, which used to be funded at the Federal level. In this session panelists explained these evolving programs and regulations, and address specific issues, such as parking requirements, that have limited new development in the past. 



2014 Public Events

October 8, 2014 -- Co-Housing & Micro-Units as Potential Senior Housing Alternatives
This event was co-sponsored by the Design for the Aging Committee and the Housing Committee
June 23, 2014 -- Designing for a Lifetime
Helen Castle; Executive Commissioning Editor, Architectural Design Magazine (moderator)
Francesca Birks, AIA; Americas Lead, Arup Foresight + Research + Innovation Team
Matthias Hollwich, AIA; Principal, Hollwich Kushner; Co-Founder, Architizer
Jayne Merkel; Architectural Historian, Critic, Author
Christine Hunter, AIA, LEED AP; Principal, Magnusson Architecture & Planning
Eric Cohen, AIA; Sr. Assoc. Principal, Ethelind Coblin Architect; Faculty, New York School of Interior Design
Susan Wright, AIA, LEED AP; Principal, IBI Group - Gruzen Samton Architects
Jerry Maltz, AIA; Co-Chair, AIANY Design for Aging Committee
For more information about this event click here
January 28, 2014 -- Design for Dementia, At Home and in Urban Communities: Opportunities and Challenges
Lorraine G. Hiatt, PhD, Environmental Gerontologist, Planning, Research and Design for Aging, NYC;
Eric Cohen, AIA, Sr. Associate Principal, Ethelind Coblin Architect; Faculty, New York School of Interior Design, NYC (moderator);
Matt Kudish, LMSW, Sr. Vice President of Caregiver Services, Alzheimer's Association, NYC
Richard Olsen, PhD, Research Professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and author
For more information about the event click here
January 9, 2014 -- Booming Boroughs Exhibition Opening, Designing for Aging in SMLXL
For more information about the event click here

2013 Public Events          

October 17, 2013 -- Aging in Place in NYC - Age-Friendly Strategies for NYC
Susan Wright, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, IBI Group - Gruzen Samton Architects (moderator);
Abby Stokes, Author: Is This Thing On?;
David Dring, Executive Director, Selfhelp Innovations;
Tameca Tillard, Managing Director, CIBS
For more information about the event click here
June 20, 2013 -- Booming Boroughs, Redesigning Aging-in-Place in NYC, conclusions of the Charrette
For more information about the event click here
May 18, 2013 -- Booming Boroughs, Redesigning Aging-in-Place in NYC Charrette
For more information about the event go to
See what eOculus had to say about the event. Here are some videos of the event, morning sessionafternoon session.
April 10, 2013 -- New Aging
Matthias Hollwich, HWKN Architects
For more information about the event click here
January 29, 2013  -- Better Living through Density
David Baker, FAIA, LEED AP
For more information about this event click here

2012 Public Events

October 10, 2012 -- Total Design Approaches for Senior Living in Urban Environments
David Hoglund, FAIA, Principal, Perkins Eastman
Rachel Fredman, Community Liaison, Jewish Home Lifecare
Timothy Barnhill, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, Hord Coplan Macht
Lorraine Hiatt, Ph.D., Environmental Gerontologist
For more information about this event click here 
June 20, 2012 -- Innovative Technologies and Care Models to Support Aging in Place
David Dring;  Administrator of Technology Services, Selfhelp Community Services
Cheryl Gladstone;  Program Director for Senior Housing, Enterprise Community Partners
Christine Hunter, AIA;  Principal, Magnusson Architecture and Planning    
For information about this event click here

April 25, 2012 --   From Plans to Practice: Best Practices in Accessible Design and Construction in Affordable Housing New York City

Peter Stratton; Senior Vice President, Director of Accessibility Compliance and Consulting, Steven Winter Associates

Mark Ginsberg, FAIA; Partner, Curtis + Ginsberg, Architects


April 18, 2012 --   Aging in Place in the City: Environments for Affordable Care and Support

Joseph Healy Jr. PhD; C.O.O., Comprehensive Care Management,  Centerlight Health Care,

Stacey Johnston, M.P.A.; Director of Key Initiatives, Centerlight Health Care

Frank Lang; Director of Housing, St. Nicks Alliance

Georgeen Theodore, AIA; Principal, Interboro Partners

Christine Hunter, AIA; Principal, Magnusson Architecture and Planning


January 19, 2012 -- The Evolution of Existing Models for Senior Housing and Care in NYC

Judith Edelman, FAIA; Principal, Edelman Sultan Knox Wood Architects

Andrew Knox, AIA; Principal, Edelman Sultan Knox Wood Architects

Peter Samton, FAIA; Principal, Gruzen Samton Architects Planners & Interior Designers

Susan Wright, AIA; Principal, Gruzen Samton Architects Planners & Interior Designers

David Weinstein, MHSA, LNH; Executive VP & CEO, Hebrew Home for the Aged

Christine Hunter, AIA; Principal, Magnusson Architecture & Planning 


2011 Public Events

October 18, 2011 -- NYC Council Priorities for an Age-Friendly NYC

Jessica Lappin, NYC Councilwoman; Chair, NYC Council Committee on Aging


June 28, 2011 -- Aging-in-Place...(aren't we all?)

Eric Cohen, AIA, NCIDQ

Rosemary Bakker, ASID, MS

Ellen Fisher, ASID, Interim Dean, New York School of Interior Design


April 5, 2011 --      Towards an Age-Friendly New York City: An Overview

Ruth Finkelstein, ScD;  Vice President for Health Policy, New York Academy of Medicine;


January 13, 2011 -- Aging in Place(s) - Innovative Designs for Senior Living

Richard Rosen, AIA;  Principal, Perkins Eastman Architects

Robyne Kassen, Assoc. AIA;  Principal, Urban Movement Design


2010 Public Events

November 1, 2010 -- Inclusive Design Guidelines, New York City (IDG)

Matthew Sapolin;  Commissioner, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD)

Robert Piccolo, AIA;  Deputy Commissioner, MOPD; Editor in Chief, IDG

Jason Mischel, Esq.;  General Counsel, MOPD

Fatma Amer, PE;  First Deputy Commissioner, Technical Affairs, NYC Department of Buildings

Steven Winter, FAIA;  President, Steven Winter Associates, Inc.

William Stein, FAIA;  Principal, Dattner Architects

Steven Landau;  Director of Research, Touch Graphics

Robyne Kassen, Assoc. AIA;  Design Director, Urban Movement Design

Sarah Gluck;  Director of Movement Design, Urban Movement Design


June 22, 2010 -- NORCs - Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities

Nat Yalowitz, MSW, LCSW;  President, NORC Program at Penn South Housing Co-op; President, National NORC Center, NYC

Georgeen Theodore, AIA;  Principal, Interboro Partners


April 29, 2010 --  Design for the Aging in New York City 

Lilliam Barrios-Paoli;  Commissioner, NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA) 



Committee Meeting Minutes Archive:

MINUTES for Nov. 17th, 2016 meeting


ATTENDING:  Jerry Maltz, Joelle Lichtman, Gail Ressler, Sharon Pinckney, Richard Ottens, Brian Pape, Christine Hunter, Brian Velleman, Karl Krause, Scott Kearney, Chia-Yi Huang, Karen Kraskow



Presentation and Discussion


I. Brian Velleman and Karl Krause, landscape architects with Olin 

Architects presented on the renovation of Red Hook Houses, project funded by FEMA.  In particular, they focused on how their work

will enhance the life of an aging population, who constitute 20% of 

residents.  Their goal was to provide flood protection and resilient energy

as well as increased green space.  Improved wayfinding and 

wheelchair accessibility in the open park areas were also addressed.



Events in Formation for 2017




I.  January 2nd – Launch of NYCHA Design Guidelines for Renovation (in collaboration with Housing Committee)


II. Panel on new models for Geriatric Emergency Care (in collaboration with Health Facilities Committee) - possibly March 8th, 2017


III. March 9th – Co-Sponsorship of Daylong conference on Universal Design - they are seeking additional speakers on health care, education, and government at this time.  


IV.  June (Tafel Hall Date TBD) – Panel on Technology and Seniors – new applications for socialization, health/well-being, and aging-in-place 


V.  Alternate or Additional Topic – Universal Design in recent DDC Projects - DDC is interested in doing an event


VI. November (Tafel Hall Date TBD) – Panel on Global Approaches to Age-Friendly Design [Alternate Topic – Ageism and the Built Environment] - tabled for next meeting 



Tours - under discussion


  1. Penn South NORC (Date TBD, possibly in Spring) 


  1. Possible tour to Coop City and Stryckers Bay (94th and Columbus Ave.) - two or three-stop tour in spring.

END Nov.17.


 MINUTES for Oct. 27th, 2016 meeting


ATTENDING:  Brian Pape, Jerry Maltz, Debbie Keogh, Ahsia Badi, Karen Kraskow, Chia-Yi Huang, Gail Ressler, Joelle Lichtman, Christine Hunter



Program Planning for 2017 


  1. Tours 
    1. Possible tour of (or presentation) covering the work of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), specifically their temporary housing for people displaced by an emergency (Gail has a colleague, Cynthia Barton, who is a Housing Recovery Program Manager, and is knowledgeable about their model homes, stackable and can be deployed wherever needed in a three month time frame.    She noted that some Hurricane Sandy victims still don’t have homes.  This could be a collaboration with the Housing Committee.  


    1. Tour of NORC Penn South postponed for the Spring.  


II.  Tafel Hall Dates and Events


III.  Presentations @ Monthly Committee Meetings:

  1. Olin Landscape Architects (Phila.) will present at the next meeting (Nov. 17th) on their upgrading of Red Hook Housing, which is aided by federal funding related to Hurricane Sandy


  1. A possible program from the Living in Place Institute was discussed.  (From:  “The Living In Place Institute is an educational organization devoted to increasing knowledge and awareness for professionals and other influencers about increased safety and accessibility in all homes, allowing current and future occupants continue to live in pla

    Return to list.


AIA New York Chapter
536 LaGuardia Place
NY, NY 10012
(212) 683-0023

Gallery Hours
Mon-Fri: 9am to 8pm
Sat: 11am to 5pm

Office Hours
Mon-Fri: 9am to 5pm