Bits and Cells

This book is about architecture and current technologies influencing our lives. It is about health and sickness, architecture and clinic, and how technologies influence our ideas and experiences. The book raises a simple question; how can architects and interior designers improve the lives of people suffering in our clinics? Architects are not doctors, they might be able to help with better facilities. They won’t cure anyone. They might be able to design better environments for patients in clinics. I argue that these better environments are no easy task. What ‘better’ means in this context is in fact a complex issue. First of all it means an understanding of what goes on in a dialysis clinic, an important example in this book. What kind of environment is this? What kind of experiences are involved when you go there and sit for hours, immobile while your blood circulates through machines? Simple questions, but complex answers. What means ‘environment’ in this context? What do we mean by ‘experience’; mental experience, bodily experience? What are these ‘better’ solutions architects can give us? That also asks the question what research can contribute to the practice of an architect? Research brings us back to Universities and pedagogy, teaching models and student practices. What do architects know of medical problems, and do physicians have a clear idea of what they might need from designers. Do they actually talk to each other?

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