Friday 15th of April
The health care system in all countries in Europe is under pressure; the social welfare system is unsustainable. Rising costs in health care and above all a sharp rise in the ageing population combined with a continued rise in life expectancy prompt the need for new measures. The health care system will need to be dramatically reformed, but we will also need to focus on a radical redesign of our environment.
Social circumstances for the elderly have changed since the idea of a ‘final’ home. Inhabitants have been complaining for years about the temporariness and impersonality of care institutions. Current care establishments appear to be primarily concerned with cure rather than care – it goes without saying that this influences those who use these places. Contemporary care architecture seems to have overwritten the obsession for health and functionality in its field of activity and context. Elderly care establishments leave hardly any space for interpretation, the unexpected or surprise. It's character is based on the avoidance of risks.
This medical and functional approach to care architecture has led to a standardisation of the care environment. Buildings no longer appeal to their users. Architecture and objects communicate with their users and ‘project’ their ‘ideas of happiness’ on to the inhabitants, states British philosopher Alain de Botton in The Architecture of Happiness. Our environment, the décor in which we reside and live, has an enormous impact on how we experience our lives, Even though we attempt to steel ourselves against our physical surroundings, one cannot deny that we are strongly influenced by the location and atmosphere of a space.
Conversation around healing environments and the importance of touch in the built environment, with:
Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology & volunteer in hospice De Vier Vogels
Former director of the London Design Festival initated the Maggie’s Cancer Care centres, care environments with a special focus to tactility and cancer care. Fraser initiated the Joy of Living charity project that unites over 100 leading lights in the design community to galvanise support for Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres. He set the challenge to a cross-section of new and established UK designers to create a desirable artwork that expresses the Joy of Living - all starting from a simple sheet of A4 graph paper.
Director at exhibition space and publisher, curator, writer, editor, lecturer and moderator for diverse commissioners.