“If I wasn’t learning, and if I wasn’t being provoked in so many subtle, different ways every day, I think I would fossilize,” he says. “To me, this is the profession that allows me to accept my insecurities and uncertainties and kind of voyage forward to see where it goes. I still don’t know. That’s the beauty of it.”
And as the voyage wanders into his next chapter, Dutton has been thinking about how he and his contemporaries will live. Together with Barbara Bestor, he’s in the process of starting Grey Gardens, an architecture firm that will build “urban, sophisticated, sustainable, and often mixed-use boutique housing” for a different kind of senior population.
"These people are living longer, they’re healthier, their habits and histories are much more, I would say, cultured and urban, and they tend to want to be more active,” he says. “Our parents often went to these institutions or these warehouses in the desert with cactus wallpaper and so forth and I think, you know, when you’re 65 now you’re not ready to do that, and …that wouldn’t be the destination of choice anyway.” We at Ageist agree.