AAL lecturers and students visit public spaces in Copenhagen and Helsinki with senior-friendly solutions
From 22 to 27 August, the BaltSe@nioR 2.0 project organized a study trip for Art Academy of Latvia (AAL) teachers and students to the Danish and Finnish capitals to visit public outdoor spaces and interiors specially adapted for the seniors together with the project partners and to discuss the project’s achievements and further activities.
In Copenhagen, in the municipality of Frederiksberg, together with Fleming Anders Overgart, co-owner of the “Keingart” architectural firm, the AAL group visited the “Domus Vista” area:
“Domus Vista” is a large living space, where architects work to adapt the area for seniors and people with disabilities, so that this group of people integrates into society together with people of different ages – including young people and children. „The environment is organized as a whole, people of different ages who perform different activities meet here. There is a library, café, shopping center, gymnasiums and entertainment venues with cultural areas, gardens and benches nearby. A major challenge in this project is the cooperation between the public and private sectors in the creation and financing of public space. The outdoor space is a place of meeting and communication, so the environment must be created multifunctional „, the architect emphasized during the conversations.
A visit to the House of Danish Disability Organizations in Hoje-Taastrup with Marie Margret Holts, Physical Accessibility and Disability Adviser “Handicappens Hus” was also held:
The Danish House of Disability Organizations is considered one of the most accessible office buildings in the world. It is based on the principles of universal design, so it can be used by everyone, including people with disabilities.
Some examples of good practice – skylight glazing provides good daylight by reducing electricity consumption; each of the four office wings of the house has its own color, which facilitates orientation; clear signs with colors; Braille makes it easier for visually impaired people to navigate; possibility to call the elevator with a foot or a wheelchair wheel; a large, non-level car park facilitates access for people with physical disabilities; plastic handles that do not burn and are not cold so as not to cause muscle cramps, etc.
A visit to the Oodi Library building in Helsinki, where a meeting was held with the BaltSE@nioR 2.0 project partners from the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences – Anja Poberznik and Ryann Deloso. LMA students presented what they have done together with the seniors of Sigulda folk applied studies in the summer co-creation workshops with the concept of a senior as a zero waste initiator to hone the ideas created during the new academic year and participate in the international Milan design fair, in the design school pavilion “Salone del Mobile. Milano 2022”.
Several other public outdoor and indoor spaces were visited: the Danish Architecture Center, Superkilen Public Park in the Nørrebro district of Copenhagen, the Helsinki Concert Hall and the Bryga Shopping Center with a large public terrace / park on the roof, and other examples of good practice which provided the AAL group with valuable insights into various specific solutions that make the daily lives of older people easier. We wish for the students to turn this experience into functional design solutions!