Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/223054
Title: DEMEDICALIZATION OF HEALTHCARE ARCHITECTURE: A CRITIQUE OF THE SHIFT FROM CURE TO CARE & THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ARCHITECTURE OF CARE TODAY
Authors: WONG MIN YI CELIA
Keywords: Care
Cure
Demedicalization
Disguise
Gaze
Health
Holistic
Perpetuate
Architecture
Design Track
DT
Master (Architecture)
Tsuto Sakamoto
2014/2015 Aki DT
Issue Date: 9-Dec-2014
Citation: WONG MIN YI CELIA (2014-12-09). DEMEDICALIZATION OF HEALTHCARE ARCHITECTURE: A CRITIQUE OF THE SHIFT FROM CURE TO CARE & THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ARCHITECTURE OF CARE TODAY. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The term “medicalization” initially emerged from the field of social sciences to study the social implications of a rapidly expanding medical jurisdiction. In Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture, editors Borasi and Zardini made a curious leap by applying the term “medicalization” and subsequently “demedicalization” to the architectural discipline. In the medicalization of architecture, architecture itself becomes a prescription for health and societal problems. Focusing on healthcare settings, the author will explicate this with historical examples of hospitals that were “curing machines.” The author’s primary agenda, however, is to examine a “demedicalization” of architecture that proposes a mindset shift from cure to care. Namely, the paper’s examples such as Maggie’s Centers and Singapore’s Khoo Teck Puat Hospital exemplify this trend towards holistic care. Yet, while presenting how these examples create an atmosphere of care, more doubts arise over the apparent constraints of architecture of care. For one, it affects the health of bodies in an indirect and outwardly imperceptible manner. Subsequently, while architecture of care involves disguising the clinical and mechanical aspects of cure, it simultaneously demonstrates a faith in cure by employing specific technical solutions and an overall perpetuation of an invisible “medical gaze”. Moreover, architecture is a contingent discipline. Despite deliberate efforts at creating an atmosphere of care, it is often disrupted by unpredictable contingencies. How then do we establish the significance of architecture of care? In the end, this paper does not provide a straight-forward answer. However, the author’s examples suggest the potential of architecture of care in negotiating between cure and care by rationalizing care into material and symbolic forms. In other words, architecture of care borrows from but is not consumed by a medical framework, eliciting the meaning of demedicalization when applied to architecture.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/223054
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