2013  •   Interdisciplinary Topics, Centers and Institutes

Impact of Architecture and Design on Patient Recovery

Lead Presenter: Amy Vu

The natural environment has a major affect on its user psychologically and physically. æNatural landscape and natural light have been shown to improve patient recovery, reduce analgesic use, and increase overall satisfaction in hospital settings. æHowever in dense urban landscapes, natural views and natural light are not readily accessible. æUrban landscapes have actually been shown to have a negative effect on the patient’s experience. æLikewise, abstract art (which could include the popular use of contemporary architecture and processed building material) has been shown to increase anxiety. æThrough architecture and design, environments that improve the overall quality of life could be created. æBy incorporating shapes or elements common in nature to urban healthcare facilities, the same positive effects caused by natural environments could be produced. æThis is similar to how abstracted faces, such as the front of an automobile, activates the same neural area that detects human faces and leads to activation of similar emotions. æThis research looks into architectural theory of how space is experienced, analyzes previous studies on the stay of patients in varying hospital settings, and then proposes a study to look at the impacts of biophilic architecture on patient recovery time. æThe information learned from this could be applied in other settings such as in designing schools to improve the learning abilities of students or designing penitentiaries to reduce aggression and crime rates.