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Keywords: Architecture
Design Track
Master (Architecture)
Tan Teck Kiam
2014/2015 Aki DT
Issue Date: 5-Aug-2015
Citation: CHEN XIUQI (2015-08-05). AINOYATSU OPEN CAMPUS. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Japan is currently the world’s first country to face a hyper-ageing population, with 36.1% of Japanese being older than 65 by 2040.This raises concerns regarding the sustain- ability of existing aged support systems, where the younger working population are expected to bear the responsibility of providing for the aged.With heavier demand due to the ageing wave, Japan’s shrinking working population will not be able to support its current eldercare infrastructure. A change in society’s mindset and actions towards a more sustainable approach to care and wellness of the aged is therefore necessary. In addition, living well is a concern that permeates the whole of our lives, rather than just the post retirement period. Given the large proportion of this particular group of people, their needs and wants should not be considered in isolation, but should be met in a way that also appeals to and is useful for the wider society. Changes in societal family structure towards smaller couple-based households also highlights the importance of shared public spaces to counter issues of isolation. This give rise to mul- tifunctional public spaces and facilities that are designed for flexible sharing between different groups of people. At the same time, it is important to note that concerns of care and wellness extend well beyond the physical realm of physical healthfulness to include spiritual well-being, community engagement as well as relative independence. Studies have shown that in Japan, critical care is only required by the aged for the last 10% of their post-65 lives, which translates to around 2 years. For this reason, we have an obligation to explore new typologies of spaces for the aged to actively and meaningfully live the other 90% of their lives. This is especially so for the newly aged, who enjoy economic and social mobility in society being increasingly well educated and in better health. Well-being is actively sought by the Japanese through recreational pursuits such as travelling or hobbies to cope with the emergent transitions in individual work, self dependence, and health concerns.
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