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Our emerging culture of vertical living - Can outrage be a catalyst for outrageous design?

Presentation Overview
Vertical buildings have housed people and communities in overseas countries for millennia. The Tower of Babel narrative might be familiar to most and highlights an early example of our reluctance towards tall structures. According to the biblical story, the Babylonians sought to build a tall tower, high enough to reach the heavens. Upon observing the work, God prevented the building by confounding the Babylonians’ language and causing the people to no longer understand each other. 

Even today, a stigma of confusion and isolation surrounds vertical living, particularly amongst those who are vulnerable or suffering from memory loss. 

Does an opportunity exist to create better outcomes for people living with dementia in vertical built environments? This paper will explore the fundamental principles of what people consider important for a “home” and a community. Subsequently, the paper will explore various outrageous solutions for providing dementia friendly accommodation in a vertical setting, including: 

• Looking at the ‘Interlace’ by OMA and Ole Scheeran as a typology for humane vertical living

• How a ‘vertical caravan city’ might better serve people living with dementia than typical aged care facilities.

• Scalabrini Village, Drummoyne and Alzheimer’s Queensland, Mt Gravatt as examples of contemporary Dementia-friendly design.

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International Dementia Conference
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