University of Oulu

Alternative housing environments for the elderly in the information society : the Finnish experience

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Author: Özer-Kemppainen, Özlem1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Department of Architecture
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2006
Publish Date: 2006-05-30
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, for public discussion in the Department of Architecture, Apaja Auditorium (Aleksanterinkatu 4–6), on June 9th, 2006, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Professor Jyrki Jyrkämä
Docent Heikki Kukkonen


The living circumstances of the elderly are closely related to the social changes in society. The aim of this research is to firstly, identify the impact of social changes on the spatial organization of dwellings and housing from the perspective of the elderly within the framework of social ageing, and secondly to examine the reasons for relocation of the elderly to sheltered housing. Using this data, some recommendations are made about a suitable barrier-free housing model for the elderly based on traditional Finnish rural housing.

In addition to the need for barrier-free design criteria in the design process of future dwellings, understanding the social and psychological aspects of the traditional housing of the northern outreach can provide a new perspective for developing and modifying current living environments of the network society.

Dwelling architecture already contains a versatile spatial order and a productive identity to constitute different levels of social order and integration. Applied in the network society, the traditional Finnish housing feature known as "tupa" has the capability of exceeding the physical boundaries of home to integrate the service possibilities of the cyberworld. This "tupa" model, both on the dwelling unit level and on the housing level, is not only suitable for the lifestyle of the network society, but also for the elderly who are gradually growing fragile. The "tupa" model functions as a suitable space for the elderly; firstly, as a place to grow old as productive members of the society after retirement and, secondly, as a place to function as active members fostered by the housing community and by the facilities of the network society. "Theme housing" model which is a reinterpretation of the principles of Finnish rural housing, provides a model which can both facilitate social interaction, and the productivity of different generations, while avoiding isolation and social exclusion in the network society.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. C, Technica
ISSN-E: 1796-2226
ISBN: 951-42-8082-2
ISBN Print: 951-42-8081-4
Issue: 245
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2006. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.