Renee Chow

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I am a versatile and meticulous interior designer who designs spaces that enriches users’ spatial experiences and social interaction. In light of the increasing ageing population, third age living has been a hot topic discussed in many countries. Co-living has been gaining attention and interest as elderly can be living with a group of peers or even cross-generation. Through interaction and helping each other, they often find their identity and hence, making it a great choice for third age living. Despite the advantages of co-living, some elderly are interested in greater interaction in third age but are uncomfortable in sharing private spaces. This has inspired me to design SYNONYMS to provide these elderly a space to enjoy the interactions and sharing of ideas with others.

SYNONYMS is a social hub that provides University students and older adults in Edinburgh to meet and interact. The idea of connecting university students and older adults relates to my cultural background. Due to traditions and high cost of living, it is common in Hong Kong for a few generations to live together. During my studies in Edinburgh, international students often express their interest to learn more about Scotland and its culture but lack the opportunity to do so. Thus, I hope to bring these two groups together. Through this space, the visitors of two different age ranges interact, discover and discuss different skills, ideas and cultures.


This common ground has a cafe, exhibition area, workshops, art shop, mini library as well as an event space. Each workshop space is designed to accommodate different types of skills. These workshops bring the two generations with common interest together. The cafe, library and exhibition area encourages unexpected encounters, to succeed the goal of connecting the two generations in Edinburgh.

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