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“Open typology” as heterotopia: A comparative analysis between gojikara mura in nagakute (Japan) and humanitas in deventer (Netherlands)

Landi, Davide


Davide Landi


© Common Ground Research Networks, Kin Wai Michael Siu, Oluwole Soyinka, All Rights Reserved. The twenty-first century norm is represented by people living longer. This new demographic structure creates a number of societal challenges. One such challenge is that living longer and becoming old increases the likelihood of acquiring long-term conditions such as dementia. Another challenge is with the difficulties in defining a clear line between normal ageing and pathological ageing; a blurred distinction leads to stigmatizing older adults as a social and economic burden. Therefore, there is a need for a care-model shift that is able to cope with a potential increase in a demand for high-dependency and high-cost services and also address stigmatization. Importantly, older adults’ mental and physical well-being should have a central role in this “shift.” A robust and productive relationship between people and space, and wellbeing can have a positive impact. Of course, this shift has inevitable architectural repercussions. Taking this into account, the aim of this article is to explore critically the comparable impact of the Humanitas setting in Deventer (the Netherlands) and the Gojikara Mura setting in Nagakute (Japan). The analysis of these two case studies is based on a one-time post-occupancy evaluation framework and is organized into three parts defined as “thinking, making and living.” The method reveals the principles for conceiving a new architectural typology: the “open typology,” which is grounded in the notion of an “open system.” This system promotes “heterotopias.” Consequently, a new pattern of care is revealed, which is built around participatory and coherent collaborative teamwork among different groups of healthcare providers, volunteers, residents and their families. This “open typology” setting addresses both a new architectural design and a new care model with a focus on normalizing ageing and tearing down personal and socioeconomic stigma.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2018
Journal International Journal of Design in Society
Print ISSN 2325-1328
Electronic ISSN 2325-1360
Publisher Common Ground Research Networks
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 3
Pages 41-71
APA6 Citation Landi, D. (2018). “Open typology” as heterotopia: A comparative analysis between gojikara mura in nagakute (Japan) and humanitas in deventer (Netherlands). International Journal of Design in Society, 12(3), 41-71.