Mary Frances De Rose


Mary Frances De Rose is the Chairperson, Perisphere Partnership, and the Founder & Director of the Design Lab for Human Flourishing [DLfHF]. Previously, she served as a National Endowment for the Arts management fellow before returning to Denver to work with the Mayor’s Commission on Cultural Affairs and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
As a researcher and funder, she has collaborated with music thanatologists, senior theatre producers, narrative gerontologists, multi-disciplinary art therapists, hospital-based sculptors, age-friendly museum specialists, and resident dancers in long-term care facilities.

After a decade of practice as an architect and urban designer (and in concert with her experience as a family caregiver), De Rose developed the VESTA Project, an evidence-based environmental modification service for patients living with dementia. Over 30 years, VESTA has served more than 6,000 families by renovating their homes and providing extensive aging-in-place support services. She was a Sullivan Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Art Institute of Chicago where she studied product design for older adults.

Mary Frances currently advises communities world-wide on the measurement of age discrimination in housing and the development of age-friendly plans—and she teaches Environmental Gerontology and Design Thinking for the Management of Aging Services program at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy at UMass Boston and is an Adjunct Lecturer in Gerontology at Concordia University. Mary Frances De Rose Bio