Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (MArch)

Legacy Department



Allison, David


Health care architecture, particularly tertiary care settings, which have the sickest people, and most advanced medical care, should accommodate and employ technology in ways that are both therapeutic and enabling. Although technology in the tertiary care setting is generally considered beneficial, it can sometimes have negative impacts, cause stress and result in poor health outcomes. Norman Cousins said in his book Anatomy of an Illness, 'Many doctors are increasingly aware of the circular paradox [of the intensive care unit]. It provides better electronic aids than ever before for dealing with emergencies that are often intensified because they communicate a sense of imminent disaster to the patient.' These negative side effects are typically the result of disabling technology, which above all restricts a patients' ability to have and to sense comfort and control. This health care - technology paradox is often activated through medical equipment, medical practices and medical settings. When medical practices and medical equipment are disabling and do not sufficiently enabling comfort and control, then the medical setting can play a role in helping to temper the paradox and hence the total impact technologies have on the patient.

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