Corstorphine Co-Inhabited Supermarket

Autumn 2016

Architectural Design (University)

The first semester of third year at University asked me to truly explore architecture and its relationship to the wider world. I was asked to consider how architecture could be used to change society by better integrating the elderly community in the Corstorphine area of Edinburgh.

The elderly are often demonised, forced away into bland complexes, where the only interaction they have with people, outside their age group, is with carers and the occasional family visit.

My project began in a team as we studied the monotony of domestic life for an elderly person with a mobility aid. Our video study sought to show how the typical home can be seen as a harsh environment (mentally and physically) for the older generations. Building on this video, which I filmed and edited, we then created an abstract model that formed the basis for a wide ranging conversation with residents in an Edinburgh care facility. By speaking with the older generation, I got a good sense of how they felt the city poorly worked for them.

Combining these initial stages of research with my experience working in Waitrose and with a mobility restricted grandmother, I created my own brief to design a so-called Socio-Supermarket.

The Socio-Supermarket set to integrate the elderly community into a building typology that is utilised by all of us, regardless of age. Here, the elderly would live in homes above a new type of supermarket, based around a love of food. The residents would live, work and socialise in the same building, bringing together all generations. Those who were unable to live in the building, or unable to stray far from their homes, would still be connected to the building through a delivery system, where they would visit bus stops to be connected to an assistant, who would chat to the elderly person then dispatch a food package via pneumatic tube system.

This project really got me to start thinking about how architecture can be used as a positive force to change society’s problems.

Skill used:

  • Public engagement
  • Filming and video editing
  • Model making
  • Deep conceptual thinking/societal analysis

Software used:

  • Sketchup
  • Autocad
  • Adobe After Effects
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Adobe InDesign

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