ASID Eye on Design
Nov. 27, 2009

Design for aging comes of age
U.S. News & World Report
This week's issue of U.S. News & World Report contains an extensive feature story on attractive and functional design solutions for aging homeowners. "Making a home suitable for older occupants is becoming a mainstream part of the home remodeling business," the editors observe. The article includes tips from Cynthia Leibrock, FASID, whose home, remodeled to serve as an aging-in-place "show house," is featured on the cover. More

Luxury at any (low) price
The growing popularity of luxury outlet boutiques reaffirms that in today's economy consumers will still pay for quality, if the price is right. So-called "aspirational" customers—those who may not be as wealthy as the typical elite luxury buyer, but will still purchase a few high-end pieces—now make up 60 percent of luxury buyers overall. More

Design Challenge winners tackle the multigenerational household
Housing Zone
Designing a single residence that works for different age groups, lifestyles and physical capabilities is easier said than done. That was the task given to participants in this year’s Custom Builder Design Challenge. The home had to be large enough to accommodate everyone comfortably without being a mini-mansion. The floor plan had to be flexible in order to adapt to the family’s changing needs. And the home had to be energy- and resource-efficient, maintain a healthy indoor environment and have minimal impact on the environment. The winners rose to the challenge, and then some. More

Social issues dominate Aspen Design Summit
Design Observer
Design Observer reports on this year’s Aspen Design Summit, which invited 64 designers, educators, researchers and representatives of NGOs, foundations and businesses to collaborate in addressing large social problems, such as improving education, health and living conditions domestically and throughout the world. Despite the variety of themes and design constraints, the final presentations reflected some common preoccupations: serving interests at the community level with an eye to creating a model that could be adapted by other regions and creating economic sustainability. More

Commercial real estate report draws mixed reactions from A&D firms
Architectural Record
A recent report by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers projects that most development sectors will not recover until 2012 or even 2013. The office, industrial, retail, and hotel sectors will all fare poorly, according to the study. But the report offered hope to some. It said that niche sectors including medical, senior housing, and student residences could buck the otherwise dire trend, and apartment development could resume by late 2011. More

Modern Manifesto House made from wood pallets and shipping containers
While not totally prefabricated, the Manifesto House by Infiniski utilizes pre-made materials like shipping containers and wooden pallets to create a totally rad modern house. Infiniski’s mission is to build homes cheaply and quickly using sustainable materials while incorporating renewable energy systems. They have many designs already available, which can be interchanged and easily modified.More

Consultancy introduces SocialCycling program for difficult-to-recycle materials
Interior Design
The brainchild of DMD Green managing partner Jason Warnock, SocialCycling is a multistep process that takes materials that are normally near-impossible to recycle and facilitates their use in new products. The process would, for example, repurpose difficult-to-recycle vinyl-coated fabrics and deliver them to workrooms in developing countries to be turned into backpacks for local school children. More

Audio/video equipment can now earn the Energy Star
Facilities Net
All audio/video (AV) products that offer audio amplification or removable disc playback, such as CD, DVD and Blu-ray are now eligible to earn the Energy Star. The Version 2.0 Energy Star specification for AV products was finalized on November 16. Consumer AV products covered under Version 1.0 Audio/DVD program, including audio amplifiers, AV receivers, Shelf systems, DVD Players, and Blu-ray Disc players will be subject to the new requirements on July 30, 2010. More

Postage-stamp-sized plots offer Japanese affordable housing
Small has always been beautiful in Japan. That may explain the current home-design craze, kyo-sho-jutaku: ultra-compact micro-homes on plots so small they could fit into the garage space of your typical, sprawling McMansion in the U.S. More