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The insider vs the outsider: architectural investigations of palliative care environments as both researcher and daughter

Bellamy, Anne 2020. The insider vs the outsider: architectural investigations of palliative care environments as both researcher and daughter. Presented at: AHRA Young Researchers Symposium 2020, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, 22-23 April 2020.

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Abstract

Architect Niall McLaughlin states successful design stems from an ability to “…imagine what it is to be someone else experiencing a place. This intuition is the cornerstone of an architect’s role.” Through architectural education and practice, first-hand phenomenological reflection is encouraged to foster this intuition. By using the body as a device to record atmospheric and sensory phenomena’s of our built environment, recollection of personal experience can help inform the creation of space. Traditional academia, however, rejects this approach and instead encourages defined space between the ‘researcher’ and the ‘field’, asserting that the removal of the subjectivity of the researchers own positionality is evidence of rigour that protects against bias. In this paper, however, the author argues of the benefit that emotional practice and the reflexive ‘self’ can bring to architectural research by using auto-ethnography. This paper will present analytic auto-ethnography as used to explore the lived experience of the in-patient hospice, a building typology for palliative care, where the author acts as both ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’. It will draw on the experience of the hospice as a daughter, recalling memories of the hospice the author stayed in during the last week of their Mother’s life, and as a researcher, reflecting on the undertaking of ethnographic research at a hospice case study and the implications of these experiences on future architectural practice. Described as being both “a doorway and a mirror” , auto-ethnography highlights the ‘self’ as an intrinsic part of the research field. This offers architectural research a method in which to critically synthesise spatial practice with social authenticity and human emotion in a way that is inaccessible to typical desktop research methods. The research uses annotated architectural drawings and models “…to take us somewhere we couldn’t otherwise go to…” enriching the understanding for other architectural practitioners of a building typology who few may have direct experience of.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: In Press
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 September 2020
Date of Acceptance: 24 January 2020
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 03:05
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/134877

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