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Between Moments - Using virtual reality with participatory processes to design healthcare waiting places

thesis
posted on 07.12.2021, 17:15 by Harkness, Robyn

Within healthcare architecture, there is a void of attention directed towards the non-medical spaces; the waiting rooms, hallways and all ‘between moments’ where many people spend extended periods of time under acute stress. Nowhere is this more prevalent that in the emergency departments where patients seek care and treatment for real or perceived, serious injuries or illnesses. While waiting for medical attention, exposure to high levels of harsh lighting, sterile furnishings, chaotic activity and cavernous rooms with others in distress can cause and increase anxiety, delirium and high blood pressure. The emotional experience of such spaces changes based upon a user’s unique sensory conditions and therefore their individual perception of space.  The architectural design tools and devices to explore these highly charged sensory spaces have been historically limited to technical plans and sections and rendered marketing perspectival images, which do not fully communicate the immersive experience of these spaces when in use. Virtual reality is emerging as a powerful three-dimensional visualisation tool, offering designers the opportunity to comprehend proposed designs more clearly during the planning and design phases, thus enabling a greater influence on design decision making.  This research explores the use of VR in a healthcare perspective, adopting a participatory design approach to simulate sensory conditions of blindness, deafness and autism and the emotions associated with these conditions within space. This approach diverges from a purely visual method of design towards an understanding of the haptic, exploring the critical phenomenology behind these non-medical spaces. The research finds significant potential for the use of virtual reality as a design tool to simulate the experience of these spaces in early design stages.

History

Copyright Date

01/01/2019

Date of Award

01/01/2019

Publisher

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Architecture

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level

Masters

Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

University Library

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

4 EXPERIMENTAL DEVELOPMENT

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis

Language

en_NZ

Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture

Advisors

Mcintosh, Jacqueline; Pelosi, Antony