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Design of spaces important for health and well-being

News: May 17, 2017

A workshop on the importance of places for health and well-being was held on Tuesday at the Network for Medical Humanities. Architects, physicians, psychologists, artists and researchers from Sweden and Germany gathered to discuss different places and their functions.
"Studies show that how our built environment is designed affects our healing capacities," said architect Hanna Morichetto.

Chalmers researcher and architect Hanna Morichetto conducts research on how residents experience their apartments and how they can connect their accommodation to their well-being. In her research, she has found that nature has a positive effect on well-being. Morichetto presented a study that showed that patients recovered faster from surgeries if they had a beautiful view, compared to a brick wall.
"I think architecture can be health promoting and health supporting. Can atmospheres be health promoting? It’s how we experience spaces with our bodies," said Hanna Morichetto.

Jessica Moberg and Wilhelm Kardemark at the Department of Literature, History of Ideas and Religion, investigate the role and function of cemeteries in a new project. In addition to being a place for mourning and remembrance, cemeteries are also used for recreational purposes as well as socializing.
“It’s often a nice, quiet and beautiful place with a park character. Even is they are located close to major roads, they have a different soundscape than the rest of the city”, said Jessica Moberg.
Whether jogging, picnicking or drinking beer at the cemetery, Moberg and Kardemark have seen that people of all categories “shape up" when they enter the cemetery. Although there are general rules for how to behave publicly, there seems to be a silent agreement between people that one should show respect at the graves.
"We saw that drinkers, who could be quite loud outside, were much quieter inside the cemetery," said Jessica Moberg.

Niclas Hagen, researcher at the Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, talked about digital places and what happens with communication as it goes through apps and computers. Today, there are many mobile apps and other technical devices to measure your bodily functions, monitor your performances and even diagnose yourself with various diseases. Furthermore, there are platforms for uploading information about yourself - the next step seems to be virtual doctors.
Elisabeth Punzi, psychologist and researcher at the Department of Psychology, said that this is creating a whole new field of research.
“How do we encounter with clients who have diagnosed themselves? They present what disease they have by repeating the symptoms they have read about on the internet”, said Elisabeth Punzi.

Elisabeth Punzi continued to report on an art project at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, which allows patients, often severely depressed, to access an art studio.
"It's not about art therapy, they are not told to paint things in order to express a certain feeling, it's just about art. It's good for the patients to get this free space," said Elizabeth Punzi.

This is a departure from the development towards quick decisions and solutions. Here, the Gothenburg City Council of Culture, together with Sahlgrenska, has invested in a free space where the patients may paint two days a week, supported by artist Stefan Karlsson.
"Many patients create their little art studio at home when they have returned home from the hospital," said Stefan Karlsson.
“Another activity many people ask for is writing. The psychiatric wards have looked the same throughout the 20th century - long corridors with locked doors and nothing to do. But why? Stefan Karlsson concluded.

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031-7864565

Page Manager: Katarina Wignell|Last update: 3/27/2017
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