Inquiry into the therapeutic potential of shared spaces in children's hospitals
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The aim of this study is to analyze the therapeutic potential of shared spaces in Children’s Hospitals based on the concepts of Healing and Family Centered-Care. In children healthcare environments, the activity of waiting creates frustration and anxiety. Beside the specialized areas, waiting actually take place at various spaces in the hospital, which can be named as shared spaces; waiting rooms, lobbies, reception areas, play areas, and circulation areas. This thesis argues that the activity of waiting in shared spaces can be turned into a positive, productive and worthwhile experience through design, especially concerning the articulation of spaces and space arrangement for patients and their families. In the light of obtained criteria from literature, a case study is conducted in SSK Children’s Hospital to employ these criteria to test their efficacy and evaluation of given space accordingly. Thus, the aim is to determine whether the shared spaces have a potential of positive contribution to the concept of healing by reducing stress, restoring hope and turning the negative condition of hospitalization and hospital visits into a positive and productive experience for patients and their families. According to the space analysis, observations, and interviews, a program for improvements is proposed to promote better use of shared spaces in SSK Children’s Hospital. Moreover, the derived criteria are discussed as to their capacity to act as design guidelines for improving existing settings and design in general.