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Finding Place: An Intellectual Journey

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Growing up in the multigenerational Israeli community of a kibbutz allowed me a close peek into the lives of individuals of all ages and capabilities who lived their personal dreams in the shadow of this social, collective dream of the twentieth century. As a young architect, I had the opportunity to design several housing complexes for the elderly in communities promising their elderly members social and financial security, appropriate employment to their skills, meaningful participation, and continuous productive lives regardless of their physical or mental abilities. The challenge, which became a central theme of my professional work has been how to create physical environments that sustain older adults and address the fundamental conflict of the human condition: the tension between aspiring spirit and the declining body. Following several years of architectural practice, I went back to school and completed my doctoral studies at the University of Michigan. Three contextual themes have dominated my journey in the field of Environmental Gerontology: (1) the orientation toward applied research and the wish to bring about research-informed practice and practice-aware research; (2) attentiveness to the balance between autonomy and security in long-term care settings; and (3) the significance and meaning of place as people age and become increasingly needy and vulnerable.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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