Dr. John Zeisel, President and co-founder of the I'm Still Here Foundation and Hearthstone Alzheimer Care, Ltd., received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University and a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. His professional service includes the Patient Care and Family Support Committee of the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Association, the Conference Planning Committee of the New York City Office of Aging’s Alzheimer’s Unit, and the International Advisory Board of the Academy for Health and Design. Recently he was named to the Board of Directors of the Academy for Neuroscience in Architecture.

John has been on the faculty of Harvard University’s Department of Architecture. He has taught at Yale and McGill Universities and at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. In 1994 he lectured at the University of Minnesota Architecture School as its Cass Gilbert Visiting Professor. He also was a Fellow at the National Institute for Advanced Studies near The Hague in the Netherlands.

John lectures internationally on non-pharmacologic treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, focusing on the therapeutic effects of design of the physical residential environment, and the role of art and music. Through the Foundation’s
program, John has been instrumental in developing I’m Still Here–a traveling art exhibit,
and Swansongs–a musical and story performance that communicates to care partners and health care professionals
the various stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the challenges and opportunities faced by care partners, and non-pharmacologic approaches to Alzheimer’s treatment. Swansongs is a collaboration with internationally renowned London-based violinist Paul Robertson, whose professional work focuses on the links between music and health.

Swansongs has been presented at The Study Society, Colet House, London, 2003, Praxis Health and Design Conference, Manchester Cathedral, England, 2003, International Arts and Health Conference, Dublin, Ireland, 2004, Stockport Hospital Caregiver Resource Group, Stockport, England, 2004, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, 2004 (North American premiere), Banner Health Foundation Public Performance, Phoenix, Arizona, Spring 2005, The Royal Institution, London, 2005, and The Royal Society of Medicine, London, 2005.

John’s research and practice over two decades has resulted in award-winning design and planning guidebooks, successful developments, prototype facilities, as well as books and articles used by designers, developers and service providers internationally.

His 2004 Gerontologist article Environmental Correlates to Behavioral Health Outcomes in Alzheimer’s Special Care Units, demonstrating the treatment effects of the built environment, has been republished in the French Revue de Gẻriatrie and featured in The New York Times. Other significant articles on non-pharmacologic treatment approaches have appeared in The American Journal on Alzheimer’s Disease.

Dr. Zeisel has recently updatedhis research methods text Inquiry by Design: Environment/Behavior/Neuroscience in Architecture, Interiors, Landscape, and Planning.

Dr. John Ziesel
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