co-life 2

Co-life 2.0 – Designing a co-living for the elderly

Submission: January 18, 2022
Registration: January 17, 2022
Language: English
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Prizes: $24000
Type: Open Competition


This challenge aims to design a senior citizen co-living space; that can provide community living and help them stay connected and together in the rapidly changing urban context.The design should establish a connection through myriad different ways but what is most important is the creation of a space that offers them connection, community, and engagement with each other at the same place.

Urban settings in these cases expand this sense of isolation even more; as the nuclear way of living in separate apartments creates a home for old age people but fails to deliver the connection that the elderly seek from it.

The connection with their age community is one of the most basic solutions that this issue demands.


Life and old-age

Old age is one of the very periods when there is uncertainty and a fragile view towards life, as hope and morals are sought in the social connections and bond with loved ones. This age is beyond the age wherein one can handle abrupt changes in lifestyle or the way one lived for the past decades. The connection with the past is of innate importance in front of an uncertain future.

Seniors all around the world experience a certain change during this period, where the fast-paced lifestyle shifts to a slower one. Considerably changing the world for them in a short period. In this period they experience that they have ample time and resources to share. But with time their physical capacities have limited them to a certain level wherein there are restrictions. To acknowledge these restrictions there is a need for creating an environment that not only provides them what they need; but also looks after their wants.

How can these wants be addressed successfully?

Need for comfort and connection

With time, the care and concern towards them starts to create a hammering barrier between them and the life they lived. In these times when senior citizens are transitioning towards their retirement lifestyle, some things bring comfort to them. These things sometimes extend beyond basic healthcare and nursing facilities.

Along the line, the physical restrictions and age start creating a rift between them and the other age groups; thus ends in creating an environment that is more isolating to them.

In this age when everyone is old, they are all standing on the brink of uncertainty; towards life and everything ahead. And in such moments the strategies and caregiving methodologies that we use cause them to feel more socially remote and less connected. Thus there is a need for a socially inclusive environment that offers a safe and connected space for them.

Can architecture help address this issue?


  • The minimum eligible age for participation is 18 years.
  • The competitions are open worldwide for designers from any discipline.
  • You can participate as an individual or as a team of a maximum of 4 members.
  • All students and professionals can participate in the competitions.

>>> Go to the competition’s website <<<