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architecture and healing: person and place centred health and well-being

My design inquiry aims to investigate how the design of space and place can affect the health and well-being of people. The human bodily experience has been effectively eradicated from architectural education and practice in recent years (Pallasmaa, 2015). Research has highlighted that the minimalistic modern aesthetic, and subsequent sensory deprivation, is proving to have negative psychological implications for many people. In fact, sensory buildings awaken our senses and create pleasure. Sounds, smells, views, light and connections to nature are all contributors of healthy spaces. Space can give us meaning and purpose and produce a sense of wonder. Architecture affects our daily lives, our physical health and our ability to imagine a possibility. Integrating nature and the human built environment can also have a positive psychological impact and restorative properties. Nature allows one to seek relaxation and restoration from mental and emotional fatigue. Leading health activist, Doctor Paul Farmer, believes that the design of hospitals is actually making people sicker. Additionally, scientist Roger Ulrich (1984) proved that hospital patients with natural daylight and large windows oriented to nature had shorter post-operation recovery times than patients with dim rooms and no views. It is clear that space and place plays a critical role in the health of an occupant. My project will expand on existing research and literature, in order to design a space that will essentially improve the mental and physical well-being of its inhabitants.

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nicola hardie

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