ARCH17 aims to offer an insight into gained knowledge and research projects that focus on the issues of health, care and architecture as a field of research that aims not only to improve the quality of buildings but also their socio-cultural effects. The changing contexts of healthcare delivery has been addressed which include current changes in the demographic landscape, and growing population living with chronic conditions as well as related political and economic pressures upon healthcare programs.
While there has been an increasing focus upon patient-centred care coordination profoundly questioning the system and organisation of service structures, the built environment remains to be an essential factor highlighting its potential to support health and well-being of persons.
Therefore, this 3rd conference aims to bring researchers and practitioners from across disciplines and countries together to present findings and exchange gained knowledge and experiences; and yet it importantly adds another dimension to the previous two conferences: The conference introduces universal design.
Opening dialogues with Evidence-Based Design, this introduction of new design strategy aims to provide an insight into the way that differences, vulnerability and sensitivity may lead to environments with more potential. Environments that is inclusive and supportive.
Accordingly, it is the intension of the organisers to cover diverse range of topics across the different scale of involvement within the three overall themes and including, but not limited to, the following topics:
- Supporting Environment and Inclusive Architecture
- Sensory experience, Atmosphere and the Material Environment
- Care for Elderly, Dwelling and Dementia
- Chronic illness and extended care –palliative care and hospice
- Healthcare delivery system: users, management and policy
- Health and Urban Design
- Design strategy and Education
Body and Built Environment
The built environment remains to be an essential factor in the healthcare coordination. And yet it is one (of many) essential projection of caring environments that may affect the better health and well-being of persons. Other projections include mediating phenomena such as indoor climate represented by daylight penetration, acoustics and pleasant views; as well as access to the outdoor spaces. Both Evidence-Based Design which predominantly used in a health context and universal design in the context of disability address these various contextual factors in relations to diverse health condition, ability and experience of individuals; however as social beings. The conference welcome research papers on the impact of the built environment and other mediating phenomena upon the different kinds of bodily processes of patients but also of caregivers in the various context of spatial networks, which include places such as home (-care) environment for persons with dementia.
Users and design methods
Contemporary approach to healthcare delivery that put emphasis on patient-centred care coordination looks at social and healthcare service structure much more holistically. Healthcare is seen across (a) multiple healthcare settings throughout the continuum of care: primary care, hospital care and post-acute care, including the provision and management of palliative care and hospice. Hence the process of healthcare delivery, service structures, strategy for care management, and related urban planning and strategy must be reviewed. Besides, such a healthcare delivery model must, ideally, provide the needed care where and when the patient and family requires the care: empowering the end-users of care services. In order to spatially accommodate this turn towards patient- and family- centeredness, however, architecture and design environment must also take an essential role. This user centeredness is an essential drive of both Evidence-Based Design and universal design. These process-orientated research and design methods include users in various ways in different stages; and progress design of care environment immensely. And yet, there are needs for scrutinising these (and other) design methods as well as assessing their operationality into the design process of home care environments and healthcare institutions.
Societal changes and healthcare policy
The healthcare reform – involving changing models of care, care service strategy, physical transformations of care facilities – should also be looked at in a long perspective, understanding the need for adaptability and flexibility. Healthcare buildings have large impact on the environment, and services (including providers such as caregivers) have an essential role in realising inclusive and resilient societies; and they are inevitably a matter of politics and economies. The healthcare reform is increasingly complex and has many stakeholders involved. Accordingly the conference seeks knowledge upon social and healthcare policy and care service strategy. Administration, of financial performance and services’ operational efficiency is also important. At the same time, real estate values with longer term perspectives and sustainable interests must be monitored and evaluated.