LIVING + MAKING = A PURPOSEFUL LIFE
The focus of this literature review encompasses the relationship between intergenerational interaction and its impact on improving human health and well-being. With an increasing older population in today’s society, there is a need for the reinterpretation of modern day multi-family housing, with an emphasis on aging in place. In the United States the population of adults aged 65 and over is swiftly increasing; it is expected to rise from 35 million in 2000 to 72 million in 2030. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005) Sadly, younger generations often portray their elders as insignificant, damaging, dependent and detrimental to society. (Bales, 2000) However, in the past 30 years, numerous studies by means of varying methods have exposed improvement in the attitudes toward older people among younger adults and children after participating in an intergenerational program. (Lynott & Merola, 2007) Research has shown that participants not only feel intrapersonal development through service based learning, but the establishment of a deep relationship with their partners. (Zucchero, 2011) The proposed project will examine the ways in which “thinking” and “making” by means of a service based learning model might contribute to a healthy lifestyle across multiple generations. This study will explore ways to integrate “making” spaces into an intergenerational living environment. An intergenerational housing community where craftspeople, artisans, makers, inventors tradespeople, retirees, and students of all ages can nurture mutual understanding, share ideas and distribute knowledge through the physical experience of making things.