The Hospital as a Microenvironment

by E. Todd Wheeler, Sr. Vice Pres.; Perkins and Will Architects, Inc., Chicago, IL,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 4, Pg. 675-691

Document Type: Journal Paper


Not enough is known about man's response to his complex environment as it affects his health, both physical and mental. The study postulates 23 environmental stimuli (light, sound, atmosphere, physical form, mechanical and electrical systems, signs, equipment, transportation, etc.), and analyzes the channels of stimulation from each through eight human responses (physical, physiological, biochemical, psychophysical, emotional, psychosocial, esthetic, and spiritual). Findings indicate that fixed elements of the environment show less impact than the variables and that the nonphysical responses show more impact than the physical, suggesting a flexible and emotionally satisfying design with greatest care put on designing those elements which cannot be made variable. The study indicates the relative impact among the 23 stimuli but does not presume to distinguish between beneficial and harmful health effects.

Subject Headings: Human factors | Health care facilities | Transportation studies | Electrical systems | Electrical equipment | Health hazards | Environmental issues | Light (artificial)

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