Jane recently gave a virtual presentation to WJW staff on her project, “This is Home,” a series of interviews with residents and watercolor paintings of their homes. Interested in exploring the ethereal aspect of home (what feels like home) and how that relates to a physical place, the paintings provide a visual representation of this emotional connection and seek to capture what feels special about these homes to their inhabitants.
While her original series focused on long-time Chicago residents across the city, for this second series, Jane visited WJW-designed Supportive Living Facilities for seniors (Heritage Woods of Minooka, Heritage Woods of Gurnee, and Churchview Supportive Living) to interview and speak with residents there. Exploring the concept of home in the context of these facilities brings a new perspective from the experience of these seniors, as they have moved from living independently to a supportive environment.
The paintings created from the resident interviews reflect the aspects of their units that made them truly feel like “home”: souvenir mugs as memories of a wonderful trip taken, time spent getting lost in a book from the comfort of a cozy chair, vibrant plants to care for and share, companionship of pets, and personal belongings collected over a lifetime.
Following Jane’s presentation was a thoughtful discussion from the WJW group about senior living facilities from an architectural design perspective; how can architects address the need for resident autonomy as well as community? Can architecture contribute to a feeling of “home” in these spaces while abiding by general protocols and regulations required in these buildings?
WJW is proud to design Supportive Living Facilities that promote independence and wellness for seniors, and continues to research and expand new knowledge in this field with the considered explorations of projects such as Jane’s This is Home series.