Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Japanese Aged Care Designed to Keep You on Your Toes

When you're old and gray, do you plan to live a nice, comfy life filled with creature comforts like floors that don't make you trip and fall and a bathroom with a door?

Well, too bad.

NY-based architects Arakawa & Gins, whose motto is "We have chosen not to die", say that their bizarre, crayon-colored Reversible Destiny Lofts can help inhabitants stay sharp and young by taking away their stability and keeping them constantly on their toes with unexpected level changes, super-small door openings and bumpy flooring. Sounds perfect for people with fragile bones and bad eyesight, right?

Located in the Mikata area of Tokyo, the abstract lofts look more like a McDonald’s playground than residences meant for elderly adults. Much like the very popular Nintendo DS game “Brain Age,” each crazy-looking unit was designed to stimulate the senses far beyond what a typical older person is used to in their daily lives, keeping them nimble.

Aside from uneven floors and weirdly shaped doors, the apartments feature outlets that need to be pulled down from the ceiling, rainbow-hued walls (that may or may not be perpendicular to the floor), exits that you have to crouch to use, and circular windows.
So how much will it cost to live in these wacky lofts if you want to get an early start to reversing the downhill course of your human life? Well, there are two rental units available for 220,000 and 250,000 yen (about $2,000 and $2,400) per month – a small price to pay for a longer life.

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