The vision of a (health)care organisation and the building it occupies both affect patients’ or residents’ experience. Vision and built environment mutually influence one another. This offers care providers and architects a major challenge in rethinking the future of (health)care. Within the research group we aim to transfer profound insights into patients’ and residents’ experience of care buildings to care organisations and architects to show them the potential of a well-informed building design or refurbishment.
A building can support or compromise a care vision. A care vision is interpreted by people through explicit (spoken and written) and implicit communication, like the building. When building and vision go hand in hand, conveying the same message, the built environment shows its true potential. Of key importance in this context is consistence across the different scales of the built environment. Spatial organization, materialization, and interior design all have a role to play. Whereas care providers often see the built environment as a given, architects consider it as a variable. On the other hand, architects are often not aware of important nuances in how care is, or should be provided.
A well-thought-out and consistent message understood by care providers and architects alike and conveyed throughout the organization including the building is essential to be able to create future healthcare environments that support all users under various circumstances. Whether it concerns a refurbishment or on a completely new design, a close collaboration between both over an extended period, should be pursued.
Dr Margo Annemans, Research [x] Design Research Group, University of Leuven (KU Leuven)
Margo Annemans graduated in 2005 at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) with a Master in Engineering-Architecture. In 2007, she completed her internship as an architect in practice and at the same time finished the Advanced Studies of Social and Cultural Anthropology, also at the University of Leuven. In 2015, she defended her PhD on the spatial experience of patients lying in a hospital bed. The PhD also focused on how insight into this experience could be passed on to architects. During her PhD, Margo worked at osar architects nv, an architecture company focusing on (health)care.
Since 2015, Margo works as a postdoctoral researcher in the Research[x]Design group at the Department of Architecture at KU Leuven. Her current research focusses on how space can accommodate activating patients. Margo is also interested in how designers, clients, and other actors in healthcare can gain insight into people’s experience.