Young-Old: Urbanism Utopias of an Aging Society

Lecture and panel discussion
Time: 6.30 pm, 8 December 2015
Venue: Larsens Leilighet, Gøteborggata 27 B, Oslo
Speaker: Deane Simpson
Panel: Andreas Vaa Bermann, Marianne Skjulhaug, Eyvind Frilseth and Deane Simpson
Moderator: Halvor Weider Ellefsen
The book Young-Old: Urban Utopias of an Aging Society examines contemporary architectural and urban mutations that have emerged as a consequence of one of the key demographic transformations of our time: aging populations. Its starting point is a differentiated conception of the elderly that distinguishes between two forms of subjectivity (or two stages of life): the Young-Old on one hand, and the Old-Old on the other.
housing unit comparison2
Early morning walkers, Fuengirola beachfront, Costa del Sol, 2009, from “Young Old”, 2014, Deane Simpson
Golf Course Urbaniziones near Estepona, Costa del Sol, 2009, from “Young Old”, 2014, Deane Simpson
Youngtown, Arizona/Urban Texture, from “Young Old”, 2014, Deane Simpson
Aerial Views of various SRVC parking formations, from “Young Old”, 2014, Deane Simpson
Huis Ten Bosch/Urban Texture, from “Young Old”, 2014, Deane Simpson
Improvised Hybrid Vehicle, page 479, “Young Old”, 2014, Deane Simpson
Photo Studio Portrait, Huis Ten Bosch, Japan 2008, from “Young Old”, 2014, Deane Simpson
from “Young Old”, 2014, Deane Simpson
Housing Unit Comparison from “Young Old”, 2014, Deane Simpson
Aerial Views of various SRVC parking formations, from “Young Old”, 2014, Deane Simpson
Whereas the Old-Old correspond to the traditional perception of old age as a life stage characterized by dependence and decrepitude, the considerably larger statistical group of the Young-Old, which emerged in the more developed nations only as recently as the middle of the twentieth century, are instead characterized by relative independence and good health. To date, the implications of population aging within architectural and urban discourse have been addressed largely through an undifferentiated conception of old-age that has followed the limitations of the Old-Old through the paradigms of ‘care’, ‘accessibility’ and ‘universal design’.


The presentation at 0047 will address a specific and largely unexplored series of urban novelties addressing the needs and desires of a recently formed leisure subject – an investigation that opens up another set of spatial and organizational problematics – ones that oscillate between the poles of escapism on the one hand, and emancipation on the other.


(Wellington, NZ, 1971)
Deane Simpson is an architect, urbanist, and educator. He is associate professor at the Royal Danish Academy School of Fine Arts School of Architecture where he leads, together with Charles Bessard, the international masters program: Urbanism and Societal Change. He is formerly a unit master at the AA, London; professor at BAS Bergen, associate at Diller + Scofidio architects, New York; and faculty member at the ETH Zürich. He received his masters degree in architecture from Columbia University, New York and doctorate from the ETH Zürich. His research focusing on the architectural and urban implications of demographic change has been published in journals such as Volume, Harvard Design Magazine, The Architectural Review, and Abitare, and as Young-Old: Urban Utopias of an Aging Society (Lars Müller Publishers 2015). He is currently completing two co-edited volumes: Atlas of the Copenhagens (Ruby Press 2016) and The City between Democracy and Security (Birkhauser 2016).
(Oslo, 1971)
Andreas Vaa Bermann (M. Sc. in Arch., M. in Urbanism) is Head of Department of Area Development in the Agency for Planning and Building Services, Municipality of Oslo. Before that he was the Director of Norsk Form – the Foundation for Design and Architecture in Norway from 2010 until May 1st 2014 when it merged into the new Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture. He is Deputy Chairman of the Board for the foundation Design without Borders and Alternate Board member at AHO.
Vaa Bermann has been a national representative in European Forum for Architectural Policies (EFAP), a long time board member of Oslo Architecture Triennale (OAT), member of the Oslo Municipality Advisory Committee on Architectural Quality and working Chairman of the Board of Oslo Association of Architects.
(Drammen, 1964)
Marianne is Head of the Institute of Urbanism and Landscape at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO). She is trained as an architect, has years of experience in urban planning and urban design from Asplan Viak and Norconsult. She was the Rector of the Bergen School of Architecture (BAS) from 2007 to 2012, and has lectured and served as examiner at a number of institutions, including KTH in Stockholm and NTNU in Trondheim. She serves as the Vice President at Europan Norway, Board Member for Asplan Viak (Foundation Board member), Advisory Board member at Arkitektur, KTH, and sits on the Nordic Council for Green Buildings. She is also an active voice in the public debate on urban development.
(Oslo, 1967)
Eyvind is senior advisor at Pensjonistforbundet (The Norwegian Pensioner Association) and responsible for the association’s policy on housing, universal design and welfare technology. He holds a Master’s degree from BI Norwegian Business School and is a former employee of Statens seniorråd (The National Council for Senior Citizens), Helsedirektoratet (The Norwegian Directorate of Health) and Statistisk sentralbyrå (Statistics Norway). The Norwegian Pensioner Association has 210.000 members, approximately a third of all Norwegian senior citizens.
(Oslo, 1977)
Halvor Weider is an architect and lecturer at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO). He was educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen (KADK), and is currently in the process of completing his PhD on waterfront development in Oslo (AHO). Ellefsen lectures on architecture and urban development-related topics at home and abroad and also runs an architectural practice through the firm WE1ARK.