School of Architecture


Wednesday 21 August 2019 11:30am to 1:00pm


Room 51-207
Zelman Cowen Building (51) 
The University of Queensland
St Lucia QLD 4072


Registrations for this event are now closed

The use of evidence-based design in the healthcare sector has a significant influence on the planning and design of new hospitals in Australia. Research on healthcare facilities ensures that hospitals are planned to limit nosocomial infections, improve workflow and designed to mitigate patient stress. For example, the multi-bed ward is increasingly rare and inpatient rooms today are much more likely to have a view, preferably a landscape view. Despite the growth of research into healthcare settings over the last four decades, there are limited cross-cultural studies in the evidence-based design literature.

This seminar will provide an overview of the ARC Discovery Project on Indigenous people’s perceptions and experiences of hospitals and clinics. The discovery project examines the premise that the physical settings in healthcare facilities might be problematic for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for social and cultural reasons. Higher rates of avoiding hospitals by Indigenous people—failure to attend appointments and discharge against medical advice are two measures—raise questions about the significance of architectural design in this multifactorial problem. 

One aim of this project is to provide coherent evidence from the research that can be used to improve experiences for Indigenous patients and visitors. This aim raises questions about the type of research required to produce evidence and, if conclusive, how this evidence might be used by healthcare designers. In this seminar, we will describe the multi-disciplinary research methods and survey instrument used to gather data in Townsville and Mt Isa. We will discuss the results and preliminary conclusions for two types of settings and possible implications for design. As a case study of practice, Paul Memmott will present work from a consultancy report on Mt Isa Hospital that predates the Discovery Project. Commissioned by Conrad Gargett, Y E Ng, will describe how the consultancy report, which examined Aboriginal experiences of the existing facility, influenced the redevelopment of the Hospital and its designs features.

Presenters: Dr Timothy O'Rourke, Professor Paul Memmot, Dr Daphne Nash, and Yim Eng Ng


Please direct all enquiries about this event to:

Bernard Llanos
+61 7 3365 3537