Smart Housing: Technology to Aid Aging in Place - New Opportunities and Challenges
AdvisorMathew, Anijo P.
CommitteeBarrow, Larry R.
We are at the threshold of a great change in architectural design. With cheaper and more ubiquitous computing, ?smart? spaces and responsive environments are increasingly becoming plausible and affordable. Are we as architects prepared? Can the profession of architecture respond to current computing technologies? Most critics agree that one of the first (most important) problems that ?smart? homes will help to address is that of spiraling costs of elderly healthcare and care giving. But what is the problem with healthcare? Even if there is a problem, the rural home is different from an urban home. Will the technologies that are designed for the urban home work in a rural setting? What are the differences between urban and rural healthcare models? In this thesis, we address the above questions through research of current problems and models of rural healthcare and through a documentation of studies and reports published over the last decade. This research helps us to understand if architecture can really augment healthy aging in rural home settings. In conclusion, we will examine the role of architecture (and architects) in the context of ubiquitous computing and ?smart? spaces in rural areas and propose a possible solution for this problem.