Architecture Designed as Healing-The Application of Sensory Design in Cancer Support Center

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Arkkitehtuurin maisteriohjelma
Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide behind cardiovascular disease, which inevitably affects many people and families. The situation leads to the necessity of having quality consultation and service facilities both for patients and their relatives. This type of facility would differ from medical buildings that focus on traditional medicine and strict clinical standards, but focuses on factors that support human health and well-being. Drawing on sociologist Aaron Antonovsky’s concept of salutogenesis, the research aims to create a healing environment that contributes to the physical and psychological state of cancer patients. As an adjunct to the hospital, the design proposal seeks to create a secure, welcoming, equal and open place to provide information, advice and psychological support to cancer patients and their families. The activities and life in the open social and informal space can positively influence patients’ mentality and confidence. Perception is an important part of healing architecture. From Paimio Sanatorium to Maggie’s centers, there are plenty of cases convinced that therapeutic environments heal disease mentally, physically and emotionally by influencing the body’s sensory organs. The thesis use the sensory experience as an entry point to explore how sensory architecture can be applied to cancer populations. The design proposal focuses on the five senses of the human body with consideration to the needs of cancer patients, exploring the sight, light and shadow, sound, materials and textures, and smells and tastes of healing spaces, and integrating them into the daily experience of architecture users.
Laura, Arpiainen
Thesis advisor
Laura, Arpiainen
cancer, healing environment, sensory design, therapeutic architecture, patient-centered design, evidence-based design
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