Carlos A. Ferrer Jr.
ARCHITECTURE CAN HELP TO HEAL: CURRENT AND FUTURE STEPS TOWARD MORE SUPPORTIVE HEALTHCARE DESIGN
The questions of how and why architecture affects people with illness and disease are not answered easily. To pose these questions for which there exist no simple answers, is to expose a limited history of diverse inquiry. In treatise, academic discourse and, most boldly, in the enduring physical expressions of their practice, architects produce best guess answers to these fundamental questions. The built environment is experienced as the sum of its parts. Designers lack a means to evaluate design performance comprehensively and objectively. In healthcare design, the architect is one among many apt to judge the success or failure of design decisions. Social and behavioral scientists, environmental psychologists, designers, healthcare providers and, not least, patients each represent a level of expertise on healthcare design. Some of the most compelling findings have translated into applied designs known to correlate with improved patient outcomes. All else being equal, facilities that deliver superior care are those which support patients’ general wellbeing through the incorporation of evidence-based designs that serve to maximize operational functionality while mitigating stress, a verified threat to the immune system.
SECTOR B/ Art & Culture of Seeing
ADVISERS: Renata Holod (ARTH) | Witold Rybczynski (FNAR) | Russell Epstein (PSYC)