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Rendering Connection: Symbiosis Through Overlapping and Layering

By Haomin Yang

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This thesis seeks to create a space that enables social energy in traditional senior apartments by overlapping with another program, the animal center. Animals, as spiritual beings, may help ease stress and loneliness in the elderly. Also, animals can be seen as catalysts for intergenerational activities between residents and adopters. Architecture has ability to integrate two categories social beings that have both been isolated and neglected. Spatial and temporal devices of overlapping and layering have the potential to relate or unite disparate elements in an interdependent and mutually reinforcing connection. Through rearranging, overlapping and layering programs that are often co-existent in contemporary society, architecture can keep the elderly and animals active and engaged. The site for this project is in China. China currently struggles with a series of issues relating to populations of both the aging and of animals. In China, as the population shifts from the country to the cities, senior citizens are increasingly socially isolated. At the same time, animal overpopulation, particularly dogs, becomes more of a problem each year. The final project offers a design that seeks to socially integrate seniors into the larger community, creating opportunities for residents to meet and mingle with other people from the surrounding communities.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2016
Pages 101
Publisher University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
Department Architecture
Degree Master of Architecture
DOI 10.13016/M2X260
Language English
University University of Maryland
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Architecture
  3. China
  4. Older adults
  5. open access
  6. Pets and companion animals
  1. open access