Age-related debility is natural. But, is it possible to delay the process? Feel younger, longer? Be agile, physically and mentally till well into our eighties and perhaps nineties?
The New York Times recently featured an unusual, ‘death-defying’ house constructed on Long Island. Its architecture makes people use their bodies in unexpected ways to maintain equilibrium, which, according to the architects, will stimulate their immune systems.
Though you may be sceptical, you can learn more about the fascinating theory of ‘reversible destiny’ propagated by the architects Arakawa and Madeline Gins at their Architectural Body Research Foundation’s website at: http://www.reversibledestiny.org/abrf.php
The challenging architectural design – uneven floors, the compulsion to “make your own privacy” as there are no doors inside the house and switches placed at odd angles and positions – force those who live in houses designed by Arakawa and Gins to organize their thoughts in new ways to be able to manage the very task of living in the house, and moving about on a floor that, according to the New York Times, “rises and falls like the surface of a vast, bumpy chocolate chip cookie.”
In its January 16, 2006 issue, Time magazine carried a feature by Jeffrey Kluger on Robert Strozier and Barbara Crook, writers and playwrights. The article was titled “The Surprising Power of the Aging Brain” as the two had come together to compose a musical comedy, ‘There’s Something I Need to Tell You’ when they were both in their sixties.
On that occasion, Strozier had said, “At a certain age you either get older or you get younger. If you get younger, you venture out and take risks.” Is this the thinking that prompts the death-defying architectural design of Arakawa and Gins?
I have personally known and closely moved with people in their nineties who have challenged the notion “You’re too old to do this”. I have also noticed that their curiosity and interest in all things sundry and special was insatiable. I wonder if it was their physically active lifestyle that made them mentally alert as well, or if it was their inquisitiveness and constant need to ‘keep in touch’ with the latest happenings that had an effect on their physical well-being.