From international approaches to senior living and interesting multigenerational experiences to innovative products, we want to continue to explore ideas that focus on places where people live. We have established three mantras to help guide our design process, to help push ourselves and our clients further. We look forward to discussing innovative concepts and a world of possibilities as we develop the right design solution for your current project or future community.

With every new year comes a series of articles about trends and issues impacting a particular industry. These are always articles to take note of, but we also took this as an opportunity to talk to our own team about what concepts they find interesting, what products they have been intrigued by and what they would like to see discussed with clients to push the design envelope. Based on recent articles in publications such as Senior Housing News, Multi-Housing News, McKnight’s Senior Living, etc. the following are some of the issues and trends currently driving design solutions.

SENIOR LIVING – Issues and Trends Driving Senior Living Design Solutions in 2018 and Beyond

  • Creating greater community connections
  • Exploring alternative housing options
  • Integrating enhanced technology
  • Understanding generational preferences
  • Continuing the evolution of skilled nursing
  • Enhancing the work environment for staff
  • Elevating dining experiences
  • Supporting multiple dimensions of wellness
  • Developing innovative unit designs
  • Repurposing and converting existing buildings

MULTIFAMILY – Issues and Trends Driving Multifamily Design Solutions in 2018 and Beyond

  • Increasing affordable rental options
  • Creating diverse urban and suburban options
  • Enhancing community engagement
  • Taking advantage of adaptive reuse
  • Elevating customer service
  • Providing exceptional resident experiences
  • Exploring micro units

As the AG Team thought about the year ahead, we shared articles, videos and ideas…and discussed many interesting possibilities. From these discussions have emerged three mantras to guide our design process so we can continue to fulfill our mission to build a sense of community. Enjoy the links, some may be familiar and some may be new to you. We hope that we have the opportunity to discuss these topics and more in greater detail.


  1. We must…increase multigenerational experiences

With every senior living, multifamily and mixed use project, how can we work with our clients to increase multigenerational experiences? Going beyond the physical structures we provide, how can we create environments that are about inclusivity and connectivity, places where people learn from each other? The goal is to create environments where we can all grow closer together rather than further apart.

With the increased investment in dining options, some senior living communities have created exceptional dining destinations. People in the larger community want to come try this new great restaurant in town. Or they have a cafe that is a convenient place for the public to grab a morning coffee. In other instances, the senior living communities are participating in programs that support multigenerational connections.

Here are some stories to think about –

ABC News: Amazing Things Happen at This Preschool Inside a Nursing Home

PBS News Hour: Dutch nursing home offers rent-free housing to students

Journal Sentinel: Living in senior homes, UWM students create art and friendships          


  1. We must…continue to explore unique housing options

From co-housing options to communities that bring together people of like-minded interests or lifestyles, there are opportunities to discuss and explore a variety of unique housing options that will differentiate your community. Pet-focused, connections to universities, better serving the LGBT population, the list goes on and on. The goal is to find ways to celebrate our similarities, respect our differences and create living spaces that support comfort, happiness and vitality.

People with special needs, such as dementia may best thrive is an environment customized specifically for their unique needs. This doesn’t mean closing them off from the rest of the world, just creating a safe place for them to live life to the fullest and invite people to come enjoy with them.

The Atlantic: The Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia

Cohousing is all about creating a sense of community. This solution is a multigenerational option that continues to be explored.

New York Times: There’s Community and Consensus. But It’s No Commune.

Is the future of senior living at sea? And with more and more people having flexible, work-from-anywhere positions, is there an opportunity for multifamily residents to set sail too? If the reality is that we need to keep our feet on solid ground, then what can we learn from life on a cruise ship and infuse into other housing options?

CBS This Morning: 88-year-old retires and lives on cruise ship

While we work on coming up with great ideas, never underestimate the power of creativity in our youth. This year the Future City Competition focused on our elderly population.

Journal Sentinel: Students design futuristic cities where senior citizens thrive, age with grace


  1. We must…be stewards of enhanced technology and innovative products

In today’s world, there is never a shortage of enhanced technology or innovative products. Just like some sustainable initiatives, the upfront costs, learning curve and infrastructure challenges can make it easy for project teams and clients to stick to tried and true solutions, even if they are less forward-focused. But what if the headaches upfront are rewarded with improved resident experiences and reduced operational costs? Maybe a little more research and pushing ourselves beyond the familiar will reap far greater benefits.

Consider more keyless entries, fobs and proximity cards. If budgeted for, this technology improves security, makes life easier for residents and is more convenient from an operational perspective. No more collecting keys when someone moves out.

Wi-Fi is an expectation these days, but what is your current investment? Does your entire building or community have access no matter where residents go? Even small touches, such as built-in USB ports in outlets, can set your property apart. Technology is a desirable amenity, so think about how tech savvy your project is and where you can take it.

Connected Living Video – Connecting residents, staff and families with innovative technology

Threshold Building Brands Blog: Tech Trends in Multi-Family Housing

And what about lighting? We have all watched LED emerge and take over the market. So, let’s continue the conversation with the impact of Human Centric Lighting or tunable lighting. From benefits to healthcare and senior living environments to lighting spaces that are better in tune with our body’s needs, it is something to think about.

LEDs Magazine: Luminaire at Lightfair 2017


Now let’s really geek out and think about inflatable metal! One of our team members (Matt Winder) is exploring this technology in his final thesis. This will most likely be part of our world in the next 10 to 20 years so, you heard it here. FiDU by Zieta Productions, a Poland-based company, is currently being used for furniture and art installation projects. The company has been able to master technologies to laser cut two sheets of metal and robotically weld the two sheets together perfectly in order to make it air tight. They then fill the metal using compressed air. This material expands the possibilities of metal. It becomes ultra-light weight while keeping its strength qualities.


Deepening A Sense of Community

At AG, we are committed to building a sense of community. We want to continue to dig deeper with that commitment and collaborate with you to deepen a sense of community in your projects. Whether or not your residents live alone or with someone, we want to work with you to create places where they feel supported and connected to something rich and vibrant. We have the opportunity to use our skill sets to help make this world a better place, so let’s get out of the box together to create exceptional places for people to live.