Encourage intergenerational connections with design.

Intergenerational – the buzz word of the moment? But what exactly does it mean? Intergenerational environments are ones where people of all ages can interact. Whilst in the past, it was not uncommon for families to live in homes with multiple generations, our daily routines no longer include regular interaction with people of different ages.

Previously we discussed the benefits of intergenerational living in our blog post Talking about our generations: Intergenerational living. but in the spirit of intergenerational week, we asked our expert in design Stewart Dean, Principal of Marchese Partners, to find out how we can ensure spaces we design to encourage mixing of generations and get away from the gated off retirement village model we currently see.

Read the full interview below.

How can design encourage intergenerational connections?

As we age we want to be able to live and act out how we have our entire lives. When designing a later living community we look at the intergenerational connections people have built throughout their lifestyle and at how we can enable them to continue with those as they move on into their third age.

One way to encourage intergenerational connections is by having lots of amenity spaces on the ground floor which can be utilised by the residents but can also be used by the outside too such as a restaurant or nursery. For us, a nursery is really in terms of mixing generations as well as the restaurant, the cafeteria and the retail outlets which will also allow us to actively bring in the local community. The local community then benefits from these amenities also. This means it is not just about this one development but it is actually bringing a social benefit to the local community.


Stewart has been part of the Marchese team for over 17 years. During this time Stewart has worked in the Sydney office and was the Principal of the Brisbane office and has been instrumental in the growth of the senior living brand for Marchese Partners.

Through his experience in Australia working on landmark later living projects, Stewart has gained an innate understanding of the sector and how well-considered design can positively affect and influence the residents, to live more fulfilling active, happy lives. Stewart has been involved with steering committees at a number of later living developments in Australia and is committed to bettering the lives of the residents with this resident first attitude.

Stewart brings this experience into leading the London Studio to deliver the unique Guild Living offering.