Topic: Designing for community, connection and sense of place

Day: Thursday 22 October 2020

Time:  1:50pm-2:10pm AEDT


Our industry has a big job ahead shifting negative perceptions about seniors’ communities and aged care. Innovative design is a powerful tool for change. Our industry has a big job ahead shifting negative perceptions about seniors’ communities and aged care. Innovative design is a powerful tool for change.  This highly visual how-to session draws on varied success stories from coastal communities to suburban contexts. It shows how progressive design helps create vibrant, integrated seniors’ communities that embrace residents’ diversity, defy ageist stereotypes, embed community connections and create a strong sense of place. James Kelly, Seniors Living & Care Partner at ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects, goes beyond the usual project overview format to outline: • The powerful role of storytelling, scale, identity and context in high-impact design for seniors• A meaningful stakeholder engagement process that unifies residents, staff, local community groups and others and ensures the design reflects their rituals, relationships and lifestyles • A holistic design approach that combines architecture, interiors and urban design and creates site-responsive, active, seamlessly integrated communities-within-communities • A rigorous methodology for Creating Vibrant Communities with proven social impact With practicality and precision this session shows non-designers how successful projects including Baptcare Wattle Grove in Lalor, Estia Health in Maroochydore and The Bays in Hastings use specific design concepts, features, interior palettes and landscape design to reflect local character, integrate into local communities, and create stronger relationships and better places to live and work.  Packed with personalities, it also shares stories of diverse residents whose ideas and talents have shaped the design and activation of successful projects, including:• Terry, a green thumb from Queensland, who created a spectacular edible garden with herbs, fruit and veggies at Estia Health on the Sunshine Coast and now supplies some of his produce to the catering team for use in residents’ meals.• Maria, a keen artist from Lalor in Victoria, who runs something of a small business at Baptcare Lalor drawing portraits for fellow residents. • Concluding with a lively Q&A, this session is a must for anyone with an interest in how designing or renovating seniors’ facilities can create more progressive, flexible, inspiring places to work and live.


James Kelly is a Partner at ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects, where he leads the Seniors Living & Care Sector. His team champions considered, holistic design and intergenerational communities offering diverse choices, higher quality and stronger community connections for seniors at all stages of life.

James began his architecture career in commercial, heritage, community and multi-residential design but was drawn to design for seniors by the changing demands he could emerging see for more innovative, community-focussed approaches that better suit diverse residents, families and communities. Regular study tours, indepth research and broad industry experience make him a compelling speaker on world’s best practice.