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Closed panel : STS and the design of dying, death and the afterlife I - 'A Place for Mortality: in-patient hospice architecture and its role in a dignified death.'

Bellamy, Anne 2017. Closed panel : STS and the design of dying, death and the afterlife I - 'A Place for Mortality: in-patient hospice architecture and its role in a dignified death.'. Presented at: (4S)Society for Social Studies of Science Annual International Conference - STS (In)Sensibilities, Boston, 30th August - 2nd September 2017. -.

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Abstract

This paper explores the role of design and architecture within palliative care environments to influence a positive experience of dying. As more demands are placed on in-patient hospices, many providers look to rejuvenate their facilities. Can multi-sensory, tactile approaches form rich comforting environments for those at the end of their life? Formed of three qualitative case studies that unpick the subjective nature of the topic; local, regional and national scales develop narratives exploring the successes and failures to promote personal dignity. Beginning with an auto-ethnographic account of the authors time in a local hospice where the author’s Mother passed away; to primary data gathered through interviews with users from a regional hospice before a concluding analysis of a new build hospice. The notion of ‘home’ is subjective reality experienced differently by all - however dignity within the but environment relies on a spatial hierarchy revolving around the needs of the dying person. This study highlights architectural strategies, from urban design to bespoke furniture, that mediate the details of domestic and hospital architecture by encouraging interactions of the dying person beyond the boundaries of their bedroom. Both socially and sensorially to promote a good life right to the very end - maintaining a connection between the dying person and the external world. The study draws attention to how rationalising medical environment and infrastructure offers a greater sense of trust to the dying person at the end of their life; markedly more personable than the environments of an acute hospital.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2020 15:15
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/129491

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