Design Needs of Aging Boomers Target of Study

Design Needs of Aging Boomers Target of Study

Washington, DC The American Society of Interior Designers, in partnership with Sub-Zero Freezer Co., has launched a new study to examine the impact of interior design on people as they move into and through their later life stages, the ASID announced.

According to the ASID, headquartered here, the research is scheduled to begin this month, and will "investigate the importance of design services in meeting the needs of the enormous Baby Boomer population."

The Madison, WI-based Sub-Zero, as an ASID Industry Partner, will co-sponsor the study, to be conducted by the Chicago-based L.C. Williams and Associates, according to the ASID.

Additional design-industry-related corporate sponsors are currently being sought, the trade association added.

In previous research, ASID found that the nation's aging population not only has specific interior design needs, but is more likely than other population cohorts to seek assistance from a professional designer, including a kitchen and bath specialist.

"We want to learn the extent to which [these people] are thinking about, or anticipating, their future living space needs, and if the issue is on their radar screen, we'll find out what they're planning to do about it," said Barbara Nugent, FASID, chairperson for the ASID's Marketing and Communications Council.

"We'll also inquire about experiences baby boomers have had in accommodating the needs of their aging parents, and whether they've considered their own personal future needs in response to those experiences."

Said ASID president Juli Catlin, FASID: "This is a very important study, whose purpose is to help us, as interior designers, understand whether aging baby boomers are expecting to renovate their existing homes, move into new existing homes, or build new homes specially designed for their aging needs. We'll also find out what sort of design assistance or help they'll be looking for in this process," Catlin said.

According to the 31,000-member ASID, the study will investigate each key "life stage" of aging homeowners, relative to the need for "age-friendly" living spaces. Comparisons of the study's findings will assist designers to specifically address immediate concerns for each stage, and anticipate changing needs.

The information will also eventually help designers increase their understanding of the needs of those people who live in the designers' geographic market area, the trade association said.

Results from the study are expected to be available by mid-2001, according to the ASID.