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Next Chapter: Design for a Lifetime: Preparing your Home for Successful Aging


May 28, 2013

As we age, our homes can be a haven or a hazard. Join us for a panel discussion of experts in the field from the AIA Design for Aging Committee to discuss ideas for how to make your home support your needs as you age. Our panel will discuss solutions ranging from renovation options through small details and technology, e.g., lighting and remote/master controls, that can solve the obstacles of our existing homes.

Lorraine G. Hiatt, Environmental Gerontologist

Gail Ressler, Interior Designer
Joelle Lichtman, Interior Designer
Manny Feris, Lighting Specialist
Phyllis Sperling, Architect

Gail Ressler earned her BS in Interior Design at Drexel University, developing an early interest in integrating interiors with architecture to create environments with meaning.For over twenty years, Gail designed corporate and health care interiors for for major internationalarchitecture and design consultants. In 2003, gail ressler Interior Design (griD) was established work onresidential, business and health care interiors.As a designer and advocate, her areas of specializationfocus on Universal Design and Design for Aging. Through her partnership with architects, contractors and most of all, her clients, she creates design solutions which work to support the needs of the client, making their homes more supportive, their workplaces more efficient and health care environments more healing. She has served as a Director of Outreach and Advocacy for Architecture for Humanity New York and is currently serving of the AIA Committee for Aging.

Joelle Lichtman is a design consultant who creates environments to enhance user comfort, health and safety especially for older adults. As Health Advocates for Older People’s Independent Living Coordinator she performs home safety assessments for older adults living in New York City. Joelle is also the Program Coordinator at eCaring, a healthcare start-up company helping to improve communication between patients inthe home and medical providers through the use of technology, and she is a design consultant for Jewish Home Lifecare.  Joelle holds a Master of Arts in Interior Design and a Gerontology Certificate from Cornell University.  She is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist, LEED Accredited Professional and is a member of the American Institute of Architects Design for Aging Committee.  



Manny Feris has been working with architects, designers, contractors and the lighting community as part of Lutron's Specifications group for almost 20 years. As a LEED-AP, he is focused on the energy-saving capabilities of light control (both daylight and electric light) in the residential and commercial markets, has taught lighting on staff at NJIT School of Architecture, and is a member of the Technical Advisory Group of Green Light NYC.  

Phyllis Sperling is a Registered Architect, professor emeritus of Architecture at City Tech (CUNY) and former Dean of the School of Technology and Design. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Bloomingdale Aging in Place (BAiP), an intergenerational, all-volunteer NORC on the upper west side of Manhattan. Ms. Sperling earned her BArch from Pratt Institute and an MS in Health and Hospital Design from Columbia University School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning.


Lorraine G. Hiatt, Ph.D., is a NYC-based, career environmental gerontologist, focused on evoking senses, mobility, memory and vitality by design. She travels 200 days a year for participatory planning and design consultation, research and speaking and has completed 800 projects for design teams and in American Institute of Architects/Leading Age publications.