Integrating Wisdom - promoting wellness through the design of an intergenerational preschool
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Architecture and urban design (MPARC), MSc
In early 2019, four per cent of the Swedish population reported feelings of loneliness, and almost four times as many (15 per cent) among those 75 and older (SCB, 2019). In Sweden, most interventions to reduce loneliness among the elderly focus on the individual or connecting with people of similar ages. However, recent studies have highlighted the effectiveness of intergenerational activities in reducing loneliness, as evidenced by successful collaborations between preschools and nursing homes (Kernan & Cortellesi, 2020; Drury et al., 2017). This master’s thesis presents an alternative to the increasingly popular collaborations between preschools and nursing homes that centres around seniors that live at home. The work continues to develop the concept of co-using preschool spaces to encourage intergenerational meetings and consequently improve the health and well-being of communities. This master thesis highlights the benefits of intergenerational programmes. It explores the potential use of the preschool as a hub for intergenerational meetings through literature reviews, studies of reference projects and interviews with stakeholders. The research focuses on bringing generations together through co-use to support intergenerational learning and promote wellness among preschool children, seniors and staff. The result of the investigation is a design proposal for a new preschool in Vättersnäs, Jönköping. The proposal includes multifunctional spaces for the community with a core focus on spatial qualities and layout for interactions between generations. Finally, this paper questions the current generational separation made in our society and highlights the benefits of blurring the line between them.
intergenerational, preschool, children, elderly, co-use