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Syllabus for

Academic year
ARK261 - Future visions for healthcare, housing and work 3: Healthcare architecture
Syllabus adopted 2012-02-14 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPARC
15,0 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Architecture
Department: 55 - ARCHITECTURE

The same requirements as to MPARC
Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: X

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0109 Project, part A 8,0 c Grading: TH   8,0 c    
0209 Project, part B 7,0 c Grading: TH   7,0 c    

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Konstnärlig professor  Peter Fröst


ARK260   Space for healtcare, housing and work 3B. Care

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For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

Minimum 40 credits from courses (the first year of the masterprogramme) with architectural design focus or corresponding qualifications. English.


Designing spaces for healthcare is one of the most complex and therefore challenging architec-tural design commissions there is. You must be able to handle intricate design tasks in which many and often conflicting parameters have to be prioritized and weighted with many stake-holders involved. In this processes you are requested to create a high quality architecture coor-dinating a good patient environment with demands for high-class work conditions, sufficient space for treatment, care logistics, advanced technical systems design etc.

Today there is a new awareness of the crucial importance of architectures as being a part of a good healing environment. The building itself has been proven to promote health, reduce time for treatment, decrease medication and help to reduce the stress experienced by patients, their families, and the teams caring for them. All this opens up new possibilities for architecture to be an important part of the healing process instead of just delivering a functional structure where healing takes place.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

¿ Knowledge, strategies, and methodologies to formulate visions for healthcare architec-ture, as well as practical skills to design and integrate an actual healthcare building.
¿ Understand healthcare architecture as part of cultural and societal change as well as ur-ban development.
¿ Be able to work interactively with complex programming, combining aspects of spaces for care, patient experience, work environment, logistics and architectural systems think-ing.
¿ Understand, and be able to apply the concepts of Healing Architecture and Evidence Based Design.
¿ General insights about and practical skills in ¿Future proofing¿ and planning for continuous change ¿ generality, flexibility and adaptability

Students will be encouraged to work in teams and develop communication skills to work inter-disciplinary with people of varying backgrounds. They will also be supported to manage a pro-cess for a design dialogue with other stakeholders in the design process.


Application project
In the Healthcare studio, each year a new application project is carefully selected. We work with commissions that are a part of actual ¿real¿ planning processes in one of the Swedish County Councils (landsting). A typical project is a new building or healthcare unit with a significant level of complexity and therefore enough challenging. We enter in a phase where everything still is very open and we can nourish from the engagement and interests from the client and other stakeholders. Your projects will in this way have a chance to influence the client¿s process and you will get opportunity to present your final proposals to a broad range of persons and actors.


Studio Process
The studio will be organised in three phases with the purpose to put forward a clear and produc-tive design process. It has a design driven approach for understanding and coordinating the complex assignment and therefore three one-day design workshops are organised with the pur-pose to use design as an explorative tool. Interwoven with the design work runs three studio themes organised as study visits, lectures or literature seminars. Between themes are shorter events for reflections/evaluations/check points. The purposes of these are to ensure the input of other skills and issues such as critical reflection, theory and technology into the development of the design work.

In the workshops and/or other presentations the students will be requested to work promptly with delivering sketches and other architectural design materials under way. This is a key ingredient in the architectural design method and the far best method for students to solve the studio commission and get feedback from teachers. To stimulate the conceptual level it is important to work interactive and investigative with the program. Here we will lean on the parallel theme dis-cussions and be inspired by different workshop methods.

The studio will start with a visit to the County council and site where the application project will take place. There will also be shorter study visits to new relevant health care buildings in Swe-den.

The studio will work with three themes that are interwoven in the studio work through lectures and literature seminars. As the goal is to achieve general applicable skills in architecture, the application project will be a starting point for several broader discussions. The studio based teaching need to be supplemented by topic-based and structured knowledge acquisition. This is particularly true for complex activities as healthcare where many types of knowledge must be incorporated.


Literature will be in English, but also, for the Swedish students, in Swedish. The students are requested to reflect on the read literature, and make parallels with other literature or of their own experiences. Examples of literature are: The Architecture of Hospitals. Coor Wagenaar (ed), NAi booksellers,Rotterdam, 2007. Håkan Josefsson, Samhället medicinen och sjukhusbyggandet under 1900-talet. ARQ-stiftelsen, Rapport 3:2009. Roger S. Ulrich, et al. A Review of the Research Literature on Evidence-Based Healthcare Design, HERD Vol. 1, No. 3 SPRING 2008. Michael Mullins et al. HELENDE ARKITEKTUR, Institut for Arkitektur og Design Skriftserie nr. 29. Nigel Cross, (2007) Designerly ways of knowing. Fröst, P, (2003), Representing Space ¿ Designing Arenas for Human Action, in Design Spaces, Ed Thomas Binder, Maria Hellström. Edita IT-Press. Investing in Hospitals of the Future (2009), The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. Project Programme New Karolinska Solna (2008) ¿ Stockholms Läns landsting. Mitchell, William. 2003. The Cyborg Self and the Networked City. MIT Press, Massachusetts. McCullough, M. 2004. Digital Ground: Architecture, Pervasive Computing, and Environmental Knowing. MIT Press, Cambridge.


Requirements for examination
The assessment and evaluation incorporates a portfolio-based project together with a short writ-ten theoretical dissertation that places the architectural proposal in its context and integrate the learning achieved in the themes.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.