Modern Age Project RSA Competition 2010/2011


Everyone gets old but it’s the process of aging that matters. Taking into consideration the social affect aging has on the community, I came to the choice to improve on the elderly’s own home rather than a purpose built home. Thinking further into the future the reality of moving to a care home isn’t as reliable as we are a generation that are living longer – by 2050 19million people will be over 65 in the UK. So another option is to stay in your own home for as long as possible; population increases may lead us to face a fact that we may stay with out families for longer.     

Researching in futuristic designs allowed thinking ahead to the desires we would have to meet being our own generation. Archigram inspired me with their ‘Plug in City’; modular and pod like design – a modern twist on the ‘granny flat’. Parasite architecture also influenced my designs especially the Rucksack House that attaches to the exterior of a building to create more space.

Taking the modular aspect of my research it led me to designs created from shipping containers. This design is transportable, manageable and adaptable which would fix in successfully with my concept.

The idea being that instead of focusing primarily on the elderly when they reach a certain age, we focus on the process of aging and the affect it has on the community around us. If we embrace the stages of life we can adapt our homes to grow with us through the process of aging.

I developed my designs by taking the layout of a typical student flat and experimenting on what I could do to adapt it to meet the needs of the stages in my life as I grow old, right up to the point when I am an old women, family moved out and having a house to big for myself. 

The permanent structures of the building must be the essential rooms that each stage in life needs. Kitchen, living space, bedroom, bathroom.

A shipping container can be added to adapt the home for each stage in your life as your aging in life begins. It can become larger to accommodate for a larger family and as you come to the end of your need for extra space the option of reducing the home size again is available.

The design presents a home that you can stay with for your life, which can adapt to your situation. It grows, expands or contracts as the life cycle continues, also including a environmental aspect from the recycling of shipping containers.

The concept can be taken into a larger scale and can become part of a community, the neighbourhood can then interact with their surrounds and take notice on the different stages in people’s life based on the stages that their house takes the form of.

The community becomes a living and adaptable environment that caters for generations on a whole to include everyone equally in society and design.


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