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Environment as a Cognitive Prosthesis

This mini-dissertation highlights the lack of age-inclusive interventions in public and social environments, specifically pertaining to the growing elderly demographic. A further critique of geriatric care architecture provides insight into the gaps in the discourse of which our failure to consider cognitive dependencies is the biggest shortcoming. The world is going through a seismic demographic shift and as curators of spatial interactions we need to step back into the driving seat for social change.

A more holistic research and design approach yielded spatial implementation strategies tested and iterated on the project site in Danville, Pretoria West. The intangibles of cognitive changes had tangible triggers which allowed for physical implementation.

The results of this mini-dissertation can serve as a guideline for future projects advocating against our ageist urban environments, contributing to a knowledge source that we will soon not be able to design without.





From a young age I have been encouraged to be proactive in improving my environment, be it through influencing people or space. The architectural profession provided the platform where this can be achieved on unimaginable scales. As architects, our daily works and engagements need to continuously challenge the way we think about our social, political and environmental influence. Knowing that our decisions will practice a level of control over societies far beyond our short existence demands a careful deliberateness in any project.

why did you choose to study architecture?

Melicia van Loggerenberg


University of Pretoria

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