Liminal Hospital Spaces: Corridors to Well-Being?

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Hospital design has progressed from the favoured pavilion ward layout of Florence Nightingale’s 1856 recommendations, to observation of the similarities between office buildings and single block hospitals and more recently the recognition of the transient corridor space. Yet still, people’s experiences and expectations highlight similar feelings of powerlessness and vulnerability when in positions of the patient, family, friend or caring bystander. This paper discusses the importance of liminality in hospital corridor/waiting areas, and how through design intervention(s), such as temporality of shadows, voice and scent, could aid personalisation of such transient spaces to engage those that pass through,
sit and wait, with interior elements that enhance feelings of well-being.
The paper explores the semiotics of architects and designers within hospitals as a series of functioning units and blocks. It discusses the corridor and public spaces as contributors of communities that deliver care as opposed to cure. A combined methodology is used based on an abductive logic using an interpretivist approach to construct knowledge through mixed data collection. A series of observations, conversations and suggestions, galvanised through sketching, engage the curious, to explore potential of design triggers to humanise such spaces. Therefore design interventions become intrinsic interlocutors with its community of patients, family, friends, health professionals and staff. Hence design, creates opportunities of enhanced experiences, involved in continual narratives to well-being.The findings conclude the importance of corridor/waiting areas, or non-spaces, as vital areas, which underpin our experiences, where incidental social space becomes design drivers aiding feelings of well-being.
Period5 Sep 2016
Event titleWELL-BEING 2016: Co-Creating Pathways to Well Being
Event typeConference
LocationBirmingham, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational