What are the current design issues for older people?

Ageing Unlocked is back! This week we want to find out what current design issues exist when designing later living communities. We talk to Stewart Dean, Principal at Marchese Partners about how we can begin to understand ageing and the drivers for moving as we age. 

What are the current design issues for older people?

The current design issues for older people focus on a lack of understanding of how people age. It is really key to understand that you can’t stereotype people into thinking they are going to live a certain way. You really have to understand how people are ageing. People ultimately do not want to move out of their family home so the move has to be very compelling and in the right location and have the right amenities in the right locations otherwise they are simply not going to move.

There are a lot of stereotypes with older people generally where people think that they want to live in a community they have never lived in before and put a big fence around them – and that is not true. People want to live where they have grown up most of their lives so that they still have those social interactions. It has a lot to do with respect, respecting older people and their views.


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.