Architecture students from Andrews University, the University of Southern California, and the University of South Florida have taken the top three awards in the 2007-2008 Ethel Percy Andrus House of Freedom Design Competition, sponsored by AARP and the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS).

Students were challenged to create attractive single-family home designs that are safe, comfortable, and accessible for people of all ages and abilities using universal design principles. The competition is named after Freedom Home in Washington, D.C. Built for the 1961 White House Conference on Aging, the project adapted traditional architectural details to accommodate the needs of older residents. The resulting concepts would come to be known as "universal design."

Monique Reid of Andrews University won first place for her design of a stylish home that's set in an urban environment to ensure easy accessibility to social and commercial amenities. Sustainable systems provide a durable, economical, and healthier home in which to age, while universal design elements make day-to-day tasks and activities easier and more comfortable.

Second place was awarded to Jessica Drake and Ashley Snodgrass of the University of Southern California for their flexible and highly adaptable design that accommodates the changing needs of residents.

University of South Florida student Christine Sanchez placed third with a concept that combines universal design with sustainable strategies.

To see more from the winning design boards and to view entries that received honorable mentions from the jury, visit

Competition jurors included Ingrid Fraley, ASID, of Design Services, Potomac, Md., vice chair of the AIA Design for Aging Knowledge Community; Bradford C. Grant, AIA, NOMA, professor and director of the Department of Architecture, Howard University, Washington, D.C.; Mark Sullivan, AIA, LEED AP, of Michael Graves & Associates, New York City; Louis Tenenbaum, CAASH, CAPS, of Louis Tenenbaum, LLC, Potomac, Md.; and Scott Windley, accessibility specialist, United States Access Board, Washington, D.C.

Winning entries will be featured at AARP's 50th Anniversary Life@50+ National Event and Expo, Sept. 4 - 6, 2008, in Washington, D.C.