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A Compelling Societal Problem Makes for a Good Professional Life

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A desire to combine a passion for design with the social commitment of helping older people have a better and more independent life in appropriate and supportive housing, summarizes the broadest motivation for my career. The medium I chose to accomplish this was through university-based teaching and research. The topics I selected and the investigations I pursued were often identified by interactions with designers and frail older people but they almost always focused on real-world problems that affected the quality of life. The primary motivation for publishing my work was to share it with others who might find insights from my work helpful in creating better environments for cognitively and physically frail older people. I quickly discovered that design and management were equally important in creating a satisfying outcome. Like the design of an automobile, the environment was created to be manipulated not just admired. Also that not just architecture, but plant materials, location criteria, interior design features, families, friends, and caregivers all had an important influence on the "environment." My interests in aesthetics and theory were never far away but they were just not as satisfying as knowing my work or my ideas had made an older person happier or more able to live a better life.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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