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Make Room for 'Making Room'

A free publication about housing for a changing America

Get a copy of Making Room

The front and back covers of Making Room, a publication of AARP and the National Building Museum

To order a free paperback copy: 

Email Livable@AARP.org with the subject line: Making Room

In the email body, include: 

  • Your Name
  • Street Address
  • Town/City, State, Zip Code
  • Publication number: D20459

We can send one copy per request. Bulk orders will be considered. If seeking additional copies please explain why and identify the organization you are representing, if any. Delivery of the printed publication will be by mail and can take up to 4 weeks.

To download the PDF:

44 spread pages, tabloid-size paper

88 single pages, letter-sized paper

Note: Questions about printed copies should be sent to Livable@AARP.org.


Video: Making Room

Chrysanthe Broikos, curator of the National Building Museum's Making Room exhibition, discusses the disconnect between America's demographics and existing housing options. Watch the Webinar

Just as the housing needs of individuals change over a lifetime unprecedented shifts in both demographics and lifestyle have fundamentally transformed our nation’s housing requirements.

  • Adults living alone now account for nearly 30 percent of American households.

  • While only 20 percent of today’s households are nuclear families the housing market largely remains fixated on their needs.

  • By 2030, 1 in 5 people in the United States will be age 65 or over — and by 2035, older adults are projected to outnumber children for the first time ever.

  • The nation’s housing stock doesn’t fit the realities of a changing America.

Filled with infographics, ideas, solutions, photographs and floor plans from the National Building Museum exhibition of the same name, Making Room: Housing for a Changing America is a rallying cry for a wider menu of housing options.

Like the exhibition, which was curated with the Citizens Housing & Planning Council and funded in part by AARP Foundation, the publication introduces readers — be they residential builders or designers, community leaders or the general public — to a future that can feature a menu of housing options that better serve people of all ages and the needs of a changing America. 

Organized into four parts, Making Room begins with a look at the nation's changing demographics and household types, followed by a collection of more than three-dozen housing solutions and then a "tour" of The Open House, an interactive, furnished demonstration home that was created for the exhibition (by Clei with Resource Furniture) and could seamlessly accommodate three entirely different household living arrangements.

Please encourage others to visit this page, AARP.org/MakingRoom, so the information, ideas, examples and solutions collected here and in our "Housing a Changing America" slideshow can be seen, shared and enjoyed by people of all ages, nationwide. Check out our other free publications by visiting AARP.org/LivableLibrary


Making Room is a Winning Publication!

2019 MarCom Award Platinum Winner*

2019 Hermes Creative Award Gold Winner

2019 APEX Award for Publication Excellence

* Among the thousands of entires submitted to these competitions, about 15 percent earned Platinum, the top award, 20 percent received a Gold Award and 10 percent were Honorable Mention winners.

NOTE: Individuals ordering or downloading AARP Livable Communities publications may receive an email from AARP asking them to subscribe to the free, award-winning AARP Livable Communities Weekly e-Newsletter. No action is required to decline a subscription. The message will include a "verify" link to confirm a subscription. Subscribers can unsubscribe at any time. 

Page published February 2019