Luo ye gui gen = Falling leaves and returning roots : transforming an elderly's living environment : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for a Master in Design at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

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This spatial design research project explores the living habits of Chinese elderly living alone; it transforms an existing family apartment into a home specific to an elderly resident. The project builds on an ancient Chinese principle called filial piety to design a living environment where the elderly can extend the time that they live independently, securely and comfortably in their own home and amongst their belongings. The design accounts for China's "home-based care" policy in which comfortable living space allows more elderly people to choose to live in their own homes instead of going to nursing homes, thus creating a healthier living environment and community. Design factors include using design to combat loneliness, helplessness and mental illness while bringing joy and security. The method of my personal experience and practice were used to investigates the living environment and problems of the elderly, focusing on the ergonomics of residential environments, first-hand experiments of what it feels like to be elderly, and recollections of my grandparent's way of living. All of these factors inform a case study that involves the renovation of the interior spatial environment for my grandfather, who lives lone now. The design includes increasing the storage space, reusing the old objects, and the fluency of the space to respect my grandfather's behaviours. The design proposition extending the basic principles of filial piety, respect, care and empathy as the core of the design, according to the clients' personal needs for design value transmission. This design concept may apply to other countries with an ageing population and urban diversification.