CuratedLectures & Discussions
Thu, 27-07-23

The Hospital – How architecture helps to heal


We cordially invite you to the second ArchiTangle Talk at POP KUDAMM. With this series of events, we would like to invite architects, urban planners, curators, researchers, experts from various disciplines and all interested parties to join us for an evening of talks and exchange ideas about the future of our cities, innovative urban development and our living space. In July, we look forward to discussing with you how architecture helps to heal.

Introduction: Andres Lepik
Talk: Tanja C. Vollmer & Lisa Luksch
Moderation: Cristina Steingräber

How can architecture contribute to the healing process of patients?
Everyone has their own personal experience with hospital architecture. Some have already gained it from the perspective of a patient, many from the perspective of a visitor. What they perceive of the hospital spatially is largely negative: inadequate and uncomfortable seating, often windowless corridors, the aesthetics of washable surfaces, the waist-high bumpers on the walls for “stretcher transport”, the aseptic design of the interior, unpleasant lighting and colouring, medical equipment everywhere, and the omnipresent smell of disinfectant and food trolleys. This backdrop gives rise to the widespread idea of a bad, unfriendly or even inhumane hospital, which doctors and nurses fight against every day.

The Hospital - How architecture helps healing

The new ArchiTangle publication “Das Kranke(n)haus. How Architecture Helps to Heal” asks: What exactly is missing in hospitals and how can architecture help to contribute to the healing process of patients? In order to answer these questions, the publication examines the current emergencies and challenges of the hospital system and presents innovative approaches to solutions in healthcare construction. The publication is divided into three parts, which are based on medical processes: Symptomatology, Diagnostics and Therapy. First, the symptoms of the “sick house” are described and the urgent need to take these problems seriously in terms of society as a whole and architecture is demonstrated. In the second section, experts from psychology, medicine, related natural sciences, architectural theory and philosophy take a diagnostic look at the complex causes that lead to the “illness of the house”. Finally, with the inclusion of design instruments from Evidence Based Design, seven “active ingredients” or scientifically investigated environmental variables for successful therapy are presented and, on the basis of 13 international case studies, it is shown how the conscious use of environmental variables leads to hospital architecture that helps to heal.

“The Sick(er) House. How Architecture Helps to Heal” closes the gap between the ever-growing expertise on healthcare construction and urgently needed public, planning and political attention for one of the most important topics in architecture today: our health.

The exhibition of the same name at the Architekturmuseum der TU München in the Pinakothek der Moderne will take place from 12 July 2023 to 07 January 2024.

Seating is limited, so please register by 26 July. Registration see below!

About the authors:

Tanja C. Vollmer is the founder and Scientific Director of Kopvol architecture & psychology in Berlin and Rotterdam. Since 2016, she has been a visiting professor for architectural psychology and health building, initially at the TU Berlin, and since 2019 at the Department of Architecture at the TU Munich. The natural scientist with a PhD studied biology and psychology in Göttingen and health psychology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA.

Lisa Luksch is a curator at the TUM Museum of Architecture and a research associate at the Department of Architectural History and Curatorial Practice at Technische Universität München. She studied architecture at TUM and the Universiteit Antwerpen and is co-curator of the exhibition Das Kranke(n)haus. How Architecture Helps to Heal (2023).

Andres Lepik is Director of the Museum of Architecture at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Professor of Architectural History and Curatorial Practice there. After studying art history and writing his dissertation on Renaissance architectural models, he worked as a curator at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin and at the Architecture and Design Department of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

Cristina Steingräber holds a PhD in architectural history and is a publisher. In 2019, she founded ArchiTangle, a Berlin-based tech start-up and independent publisher focused on knowledge transfer and projects of social relevance in the field of architecture. Previously, she was, among other things, programme director and managing director of Hatje Cantz, a leading global publisher of fine art, photography and architecture, for more than a decade.

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