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Animal(Dog) Assisted Therapy Centre for the New Elderly

Part 1 Project 2006
Gao Yuxian, Johnny
National University of Singapore | Singapore
The proposed design aims to facilitate the animal assisted therapy(AAT) activities by echoing the principles of how AAT functions; movement and rhythm. By creating nuances and patterns to encourage and stimulate the senses of the elderly, it is hoped that they will be motivated to take part in the excercises and/or find it easier to manouvre and together with the animals make the therapy process a painless and enjoyable one. Just like how trained dogs are taught to react to the patients to encourage participation, the proposed design echoes this fundamental principle in AAT. This results in the architecture of the centre as a re-intrepretation of the program.
Gao Yuxian, Johnny

The project "Animal(Dog) Assisted Therapy Centre for the New Elderly" is a result of a resourceful exploration of the theme of elderly and activities compatible to their needs and abilities. Systematic development of the program as well as of the specific design features reveal keen attempts to achieve full understanding of the problems of the aging population in Singapore. Architectural expressions and aesthetics of this design are deep-rooted in profound understanding of the ways that animals, old people and the space communicate and benefit from each other. Balance of the form eager to stand out and the social implications of the program qualify this project for RIBA President's Medal nomination.

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