The architecture of well-being : creating effective design for the care and treatment of the mentally ill
Berwald, Sarah Moch
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This thesis synthesizes research performed by environmental psychologists, architects and medical researchers on the human experience of a specific architectural typology: the inpatient psychiatric hospital. These studies, as well as non-fictional narratives of life in a psychiatric institution, are used to demonstrate that the treatment of psychiatric patients is intertwined with the architecture of the facility, and that this patient group is therefore highly sensitive to architectural design. The conclusions drawn from the research described above imply that statewide agencies which fund architectural investments of this type can see, relatively clearly, how greater funding can result in better patient outcomes and shorter patient stays. The conclusions also imply that architects can use evidence-based design to clearly demonstrate that design is correlated with human health. Finally, the thesis implies that while architecture remains an artistic practice in many respects, certain typologies, such as the inpatient psychiatric facility, need to draw heavily from scientifically based sources.