Pigott, Joanne, Hargreaves, Janet and Power, Jess (2016) Liminal Hospital Spaces; Corridors to Well-Being? In: WELL-BEING 2016: Co-Creating Pathways to Well-Being, The Third International Conference Exploring the Multi-Dimensions of Well-Being, 5th-6th September 2016, Birmingham, UK.

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.

57 Pigott J FULL PAPER Liminal Hospital Spaces Corridors to Well-Being_.pdf - Accepted Version

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