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Designing person-centred palliative environments. (R-11512)

There is only one certainty in life: at a particular moment in time, everybody dies. Because of the increase in healthcare, better lifestyles (in terms of eating, engaging in sports etc.) the lifespan of many people is longer than earlier generations, so that sudden death will occur less and less quickly. Paradoxically, palliative care is one of the most fundamental, but also one of the youngest and least researched areas of healthcare. However, there is a growing interest in the subject of palliative care. With this increasing focus on palliative care, there will automatically be a rising interest in the spatial aspects hereof as well. The spaces where a person spends the last stages of their life are essential to how this person, and his/her (in)formal caregivers, will experience this stage. If the goal is to design palliative environments for a better experience and well-being of all its users, there should be a deeper and more holistic understanding of this area. One could position oneself as a designer in an imaginary environment and ask oneself: 'What would I want this environment to look and feel like if I would spend my last phase of life and death here?'. However, as a designer with no experiences with palliative care, one would often miss the feeling and experience with practice. Therefore, confronting the existing theoretical knowledge based on palliative environments with the experiences, values, needs and wishes of actual users in a palliative environment will form a large part of this PhD. A mixed-method approach – in-depth reviews of case studies, participatory observations, in-depth interviews and experience prototyping– will be used (1) to gain insight into the organisation and spatial environments of palliative care based on different domains, (2) to gain understanding in the experience, needs and values of various users in a palliative environment and (3) to develop an evidence-inspired experience design approach that acknowledges and supports the experiences and well-being of various users of a palliative environment.
Date:1 May 2020 →  Today
Keywords:Architecture, Evidence-inspired experience design, Palliative environments, Person-centred, User experience
Disciplines:Design practice, Design research, Inclusive design, Architectural design not elsewhere classified, Interior design