Rina Ko Interview

Rina Ko, Registered Architect, Research Associate - The Chinese University of Hong Kong Jockey Club Institute of Ageing

"I’m pleased to say, that growing old is finally starting to lose the negative image its had for centuries. And that’s a great thing, given that in Hong Kong almost a third of us will be over 65 by the year 2040.

The work we do here at the Institute of Ageing focuses on enhancing healthy ageing, specifically the preservation of our physical and cognitive function. It’s a very important issue, because getting this right means longer term, and higher quality of life for our ageing population, and that means us one day.

Recently, Chinachem approached us for our help and expertise. Being aware of this demographic shift, they too are thinking ahead and trying to design with our changing world in mind. So they commissioned a major five year research project into healthy ageing in the city. From this, the Institute will produce a residential design guide that sets out our recommendations for healthy living architecture and environments.

Chinachem’s upcoming Anderson Road development will be the first beneficiary of our findings, but it doesn’t end there. The study will be published as an open source design manual, available to all, to inform and improve on residential architecture both here and abroad.

Watching my parents age, and seeing the challenges emerging in their lives, was what inspired me to take on this role. I love being an architect, my time in practice with Herzog & de Meuron was wonderful, but this opportunity to help make systemic improvements to the lives of so many is hugely meaningful. Research, and the resulting changes in design provide a smart approach to improving our quality of life. The academic work that Chinachem supports here at CUHK will benefit us all in the long run."

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