Architect Ingrid Marshall pursues Churchill Fellowship to reshape Australian aged care landscape

22 September 2023

We’re proud to announce that Ingrid Marshall, Architect and Associate Director at Deicke Richards, has been awarded a coveted Churchill Fellowship. Drawing inspiration from her involvement in aged care projects with us for more than a decade, Ingrid saw the Churchill Fellowship as the perfect platform to advance her research in this space and reshape the aged care landscape in Australia.

The Churchill Fellowships offers recipients the opportunity to travel overseas for four to eight weeks to explore a topic or issue that they’re passionate about that provides a benefit to the Australian community – and bring that research home to share their learnings.

In a bid to redefine the future of aged care, Ingrid’s research will consider varying elements of small household models of aged care – a concept that aims to create residential environments with fewer residents per house. Her vision is to design spaces that create a home-like environment, departing from the traditional institutional setting often associated with aged care facilities. Ingrid’s research will look at the design as well as operational and staffing approaches, to possible funding approaches for this alternative.

“Small household models can significantly improve the quality of life for the elderly”, says Ingrid. “It’s about quality of life; not just for the individual, but for their whole family”.

“Many places claim to offer household models, but few fully embody the concept. It’s about creating a familiar, domestic environment that reduces anxiety and agitation, and in turn, hospitalisations. The potential benefits make it a promising approach.”

During her fellowship, Ingrid plans to visit innovative organisations across the globe. Her itinerary includes exploring the Green House Project in the USA, known for the creation of radically non-institutional eldercare environments, housing 12 residents per household. She will also visit The Hogeweyk Dementia Village in the Netherlands and The Centre for Environment, Dementia and Ageing Research at the University of Stirling in the UK, amongst others. These international visits will equip Ingrid with valuable insights into the practical implementation of small household models and innovative aged care solutions, and how these can be applied through new approaches to architecture and design. Ingrid’s aim is to transform the way aged care is designed and delivered to improve the overall well-being of elderly residents.

For Deicke Richards, we’re looking forward to sharing Ingrid’s newfound expertise and insights to make impactful change in the aged care space. Outside of the practice, she plans to share her research findings through presentations and conferences to groups such as Places For Aging, who aim to promote innovative aged care practices throughout Australia. Ingrid is leading the way in fostering innovation within Deicke Richards and we’re proud that she is advocating for a shift towards more compassionate and effective aged care environments.

“What gets me excited is how I can apply the research to my design work and share it with others in the industry so our clients – and ultimately the end users of the buildings and their families – can benefit from it, too.”