RESIDENTIAL ENVIRONMENT OF DISABLED AND ELDER PEOPLE. HUMANISATION PROSPECTS IN LIGHT OF ACHIEVEMENTS IN VARIOUS SCIENCE DISCIPLINES AND ARCHITECTURAL PRACTICE AREAS

EL┼╗BIETA D. NIEZABITOWSKA, MAREK NIEZABITOWSKI

A permanent increase of the percentage of elderly population is the characteristic feature of demographic change in postindustrial and information societies in the second half of the twentieth century. Older people and their living condition is the subject of interest of different scientific disciplines and architectural practice. The knowledge that is created in these fields has a significant impact on the perception of the role of the residential environment in shaping a high quality of life in the third age.
The article enlightens the ideas and advances in science that influenced an increase in the awareness of the importance of the housing environment in human life. There is scientific, philosophical and architectural background to the concept of humanization of the residential environment presented there. The latest breakthroughs in environmental sciences referring to the impact of the life space on human behavior are compared to standards and norms in architecture and civil engineering. Moreover, the problems involved in the categorization of the limitations to efficiency and fitness of the inhabitants in latest strategies of architectural designing process were discussed. In the last part of the text, tools for diagnosing the adequacy of the residential environment to the needs and problems of its users are discussed in consideration of the limitations to their fitness and efficiency.