Designing Innovative, Adaptable, Smarter Homes

Professors Alison Bowes, Vikki McCall, and Alasdair Rutherford in the Faculty of Social Sciences at University of Stirling will be giving a talk and workshop at this year’s TPAS Housing Professionals Conference exploring how we can design homes to support us all as we get older.  They will introduce the ambitious UKRI-funded research project, Designing Homes for DesHCA, based at the University of Stirling. DesHCA presents a unique opportunity to draw together stakeholders from across the UK to investigate how our homes can support us as we age.

DesHCA’s mission is to identify innovative, sustainable, and scalable design options that will allow people to easily and affordably adapt their homes to support them as they grow older.

The scope of the project examines each part of the housing cycle, from exploring how houses could be designed and built to providing more support to the people living inside them, working with local authorities and housing providers to explore how retrofitted adaptations could be provided to support vulnerable people in society to have a better quality of life within their own home.

Stirling University-led research forefronts the experiences and needs of older people with and without cognitive impairment, while drawing together professionals from across industry, local government, and the third sector to tackle one of the most significant challenges facing our society.

During the talk, the team will introduce their ‘Serious Game’ which draws from all of the learning and information collected throughout all of DesHCA’s other activities to create a game that encourages players to put themselves in the ‘shoes’ of different stakeholders involved in creating homes that support healthy cognitive ageing to work together to achieve that goal. 

Playing the game will help players see the idea of cognitively supportive housing and adaptations from different perspectives, and teach them about some of the different factors that influence how people in different industries, sectors, and positions think about supportive housing. 

Dr Vikki McCall commented, “I am really looking forward to the TPAS Housing Professionals Conference to introduce the work we have been doing in the DesHCA project.  It will be great to get first-hand feedback from professionals from across the housing sector in Scotland on our ‘Serious Game’ to help shape how our homes can support us as we age.”