This chapter develops the idea that design involves a whole system that goes beyond the visual aspects of an environment or product. It includes the total environment for living and the attitudes and values of those involved in initiating and creating the design. This chapter begins with a review of public attitudes toward the elderly and disabled in the United States and other industrialized nations. Examples will be presented of housing products and unit layouts developed abroqd that accommodate the needs and wants of an aging population. Public attitudes and public policy can either discourage or encourage appropriate design solutions for this rapidly increasing segment of society.