New Normal(s): Design Exercises for an Aging Population

New Normals event poster

Don't miss this exhibition of student research on new design perspectives for an aging population, directed by Sarah Gunawan, this year's year's Peter Reyner Banham Fellow. The work will be on exhibit through the end of June.

The New Normal(s) Exhibition Opening was held on May 2, 2018.

Exhibition Description

New Normal(s): Design Exercises for an Aging Population is an exhibition of the pedagogy, research and speculation that emerged through the Multiplying Perspectives and New Normal(s) seminars, taught at the Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning by Sarah Gunawan, Peter Reyner Banham Fellow 2017-18.

For the growing population of elderly Americans, the process of aging is altering their physical, sensorial and cognitive capacities requiring them to continuously reorient their body’s relationship with the built environment. New Normal(s) embraces the heterogeneous experiences of older adults as a field of architectural investigation and design exploration. Positioning the aging body as the focal point of this research destabilizes the dominant conception of building users as youthful, able-bodied figures. Through this lens, students occupied diverse embodiments, communicated alternate perceptions through experimental representations, and re-imagined architecture as an environmental prosthetic to aging bodies. The exhibition organizes the experimental exercises, public workshops and design explorations around four pedagogical questions which emerged through the process:

  • How can designers multiply perspectives through which we design?
  • How can designers practice empathically within architecture?
  • How can design disrupt standards which underlie normative space?
  • ​How can design translate embodiments into inclusive environments?

Featured Work

Tiffany Wong - Embodying Unwelts

Tiffany Wong - Embodying Unwelts

ARC 491 / 591: Multiplying Perspectives

  • Anthony Garofalo
  • Emma McAneny
  • Euychan Jeong
  • Habiba Abdelall
  • Lauren Kennedy
  • Rachel Mordaunt
  • Tiffany Fong
Rachel Mordaunt - Decentering Norms

Rachel Mordaunt - Decentering Norms

Rachel Mordaunt - Decentering Norms

Rachel Mordaunt - Decentering Norms

Rachel Mordaunt - Decentering Norms

Rachel Mordaunt - Decentering Norms

ARC 404 / 585 New Normal(s)

  • Alexa Russo
  • Alexandra Sheehan
  • Amrutha Boban
  • Andrea Gonzalez
  • Arisha Shahid
  • Emma McAneny
  • Euychan Jeong
  • Jarrett Trudeau
  • Kelsey Habla
  • Lauren Kennedy
  • Ruchita Chandsarkar
  • Ryan Olsen