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Humanising Hospitals

Part 1 Dissertation 2020
Mariam Fawaz
Central Saint Martins, UAL | UK
In the UK, 26 million people are diagnosed with long-term health conditions (NHS, 2018), and are often required to leave home to be admitted into hospital. Here, the person is placed on a numbered bed within a cubicle that is bare and spatially universal in almost every hospital, with no indication of the individual’s life beyond these walls. Here, a ‘person’ is abstracted into a ‘patient’, temporarily giving up their identity and role within society.

Reflecting, through lived experience, on the impact of hospital spaces upon the human psyche, ‘Humanising Hospitals’ unfolds in the form of a dialogue between the author as ‘patient’ and ‘architect’, deploying subjectivity to give voice to the dehumanised individual. Through diary entries, the author notes their own experience of their time in isolation during a bone marrow transplant and reflects on their parallel role as emergent architect, buoyed by the theories of their discipline.

Simultaneous narratives explore questions raised during hospitalisation, sharing one common theme: the inherent needs of a person – including but not limited to identity, privacy, connection and autonomy – in an attempt to shed light on architecture’s role in healthcare. Now more than ever, these are fundamental questions to ask.

Mariam Fawaz

Joseph Kerr
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