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Wendy Gunn – Involving sensory experience and perceptual acuity as parameters in the design of hospitals​

By November 29, 2017 No Comments

Currently there are few instances of successfully combining objective needs and requirements of indoor air quality (IAQ) in hospital healthcare settings with qualitative described perceptions of this quality by patients. Human perception and perceptual acuity of IAQ presents challenges for existing objective systems of measuring of IAQ. There is however a growing recognition in research of the importance of expanding IAQ definitions with experience-based descriptions to support architectural engineering design processes for future indoor environment solutions of hospitals. The overall goal of the research is to improve IAQ in hospital environments and show the role architectural engineering design could play in this. The main research question to be addressed is: how can quantitative and qualitative methodologies and methods be combined in data collection to improve the study of air quality (measured and perceived) in hospital healthcare settings? The paper sets out to demonstrate potentials of involving sensory experience and perceptual acuity of patients as parameters in the architectural design and environmental design engineering of hospital settings for health and wellbeing. Based on findings of a critical methodological review focusing on measuring IAQ within hospital environments, the authors present a framework for conducting fieldwork to be used in future research concerned with designing IAQ systems of measurement. Preliminary conclusions suggest combining quantitative and qualitative methodologies and methods in data collection about IAQ (measured and perceived) within hospital healthcare settings can expand existing measurement models, and at the same time introduce some measure of specificity linked to hospital environments, aimed at maximizing health and well-being by co-relating architectural and environmental conditions to the ecology of indoor microbes.

Wendy Gunn, Senior Research Fellow, Research [x] Design Research Group, Faculty of Engineering Science, Department of Architecture, KU Leuven, Belgium.

Wendy was awarded a Senior Research Fellowship from KU Leuven Research Council to collaborate with Prof Ann Heylighen (architecture) and Prof Dirk Saelens (building physics). The research seeks to leverage scientific research involving patients’ sensorial experience and perceptual acuity to inform future design of measurement experiments towards improving indoor air quality within hospital healthcare settings. Her research has involved the co-design of the research framework for the wider research project: An Anthropological Inquiry by Means of Design Towards Improving Indoor Air Quality Within Hospital Settings, and a pilot study Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Methodologies and Methods in Data Collection of Air Quality (Measured and Perceived) within Hospital Healthcare Settings.As a researcher, she has cross-disciplinary expertise in architecture, anthropology and design and significant experience of conducting collaborative research as part of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary design teams involving both the private and public sectors. Central to her research is a close connection between theory and practice, research and teaching.

Biographies:

Wendy Gunn mailto:wendy.gunn@kuleuven.be Senior Research Fellow. KU Leuven, Faculty of Engineering Science, Dept. of Architecture, Research[x]Design group, Kasteelpark Arenberg 1 box 2431, BE-3001 Leuven, Belgium http://rxd.architectuur.kuleuven.be

wendy.gunn@kuleuven.be

Dirk Saelens Professor of Energy in Buildings, KU Leuven, Faculty of Engineering Science, Dept. of Civil Engineering. Building Physics Section, Kasteelpark Arenberg 40, box 2448. 3001 Leuven, Belgium.

dirk.saelens@kuleuven.be

Ann Heylighen Research Professor, KU Leuven, Faculty of Engineering Science, Dept. of Architecture, Research[x]Design Group, Kasteelpark Arenberg 1 box 2431, BE-3001 Leuven, Belgium http://rxd.architectuur.kuleuven.be

ann.heylighen@kuleuven.be

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