Creating Healing Spaces: A Multi-Sensory Patient-Centred Approach to Hospital Design

Join us for a transformative exploration of hospital environments, and the importance of considering noise, light, and the senses.

Visiting from the University of Bristol, A/Prof Victoria Bates will reflect on the history of hospital sensory experiences in the NHS, while QUT’s A/Prof Veronica Garcia-Hansen will focus on the role of lighting and Amanda Fox (Associate Professor of Nursing at QUT and Redcliffe Hospital) will discuss sensory blankets in dementia. Oystein (Stein) Tronstead from The Prince Charles Hospital will share findings from the ‘ICU of the future’ project, and the importance of patient-centred design to ensure patients thrive, not just survive.


How the noises of a hospital can become a healing soundscape 

Associate Professor Victoria Bates, University of Bristol  

Victoria is Associate Professor in Modern Medical History at the University of Bristol. She was awarded a UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowship (202-2027) for the project Sensing Spaces of Healthcare: Rethinking the NHS Hospital, which asks how people have experienced hospitals through time, and the legacy of their perceptions in current hospital design.

It will create the first sensory history of hospitals. Harnessing participatory practices, her research is creating a novel multidisciplinary methodology for eliciting memories and sensations of hospitals, which will encourage new ways of thinking and practices among researchers, architects, and designers. Her recent book is Making Noise in the Modern Hospital (2021).

Creating healing environments in hospitals through efficient lighting design 

Associate Professor Veronica Garcia-Hansen, QUT  

Veronica is an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture and Built Environment, with a background in architecture design and building science. Her principal area of research focuses on the interplay between building design and performance, visual and thermal comfort and human health and wellbeing.

A 2020 WiSTEM2D (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing, and Design) Johnson & Johnson Scholar, she will share findings from this project exploring how to create healing environments in hospitals through efficient lighting design.

ICU of the future project – Patient-centred design to ensure patients thrive, not just survive

Oystein Tronstad, Physiotherapy Clinical Lead and Project Manager ICU of the future project,

The Prince Charles Hospital.Stein is a Physiotherapy Researcher and manager of The Prince Charles Hospital’s Critical Care Research Group. He is a physiotherapy clinical lead at The Prince Charles Hospital with extensive critical care clinical and research experience. He continues to manage several clinical projects, including the ‘ICU of the Future’ project, a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, and intersectoral project, putting patients at the centre of ICU design. Led by The Prince Charles Hospital’s Critical Care Research Group, the project aims to fundamentally redesign the ICU environment to not only achieve survival, but provide a superior recovery experience, optimised outcomes of care and quality of life, incorporating the patient’s needs and wishes into an improved ICU design. Using advanced technology and evidence-based design, the new bedspaces tailor the care environment to patient’s shifting clinical needs and personal preferences.

Using deep touch pressure via weighted blankets to support patients with dementia

A/Prof Amanda Fox, QUT Nursing & Redcliffe Hospital.

Amanda has over 18 years’ experience as a registered nurse, and holds a joint Associate Professor of Nursing at QUT and Redcliffe Hospital. She was an NHMRC Capacity Building in Dementia Care Research Fellow (2019-21), and has a program of research that optimises care for people experiencing dementia and delirium. She leads multidisciplinary teams to implement evidence-based practice, improve health outcomes, and reduce distress for patients and their care partners.

Therapeutic weighted blankets provide deep touch pressure and mimic the sensation of a hug. Research suggests that deep touch pressure can induce a state of calmness by engaging the parasympathetic nervous system. Weighted blankets have the potential to reduce agitation for people with dementia – reducing use of pharmaceuticals and in-hospital complications. This research examines if the use of weighted blankets is safe, feasible, and efficient for persons with dementia in the acute care setting.


Date: Monday 27 November 2023
Time: 2-4:3opm (includes networking at the end of the session)
Venue: QUT Kelvin Grove Campus, Z9, Room 607
RSVP via Eventbrite midday Friday 24 November 2023


2:00pm-2:10pm Welcome & intro Prof Evonne Miller, QUT Design Lab
2:10pm-2:40pm A/Prof Victoria Bates, University of Bristol
2:40pm-2:50pm A/Prof Veronica Garcia-Hansen, QUT Architecture & Built Environment
2:50pm-3:00pm Oystein Tronstead, The Prince Charles Hospital Critical Care Research Group
3:00pm-3:10pm A/Prof Amanda Fox, QUT Nursing & Redcliffe Hospital
3:10pm-3:40pm Panel discussion facilitated by A/Prof Jen Seevinck
3:40pm-4:30pm Informal networking on level 6 balcony


Location: Room Z9-607, QUT Kelvin Grove Campus, Brisbane [link to map]
Start Date: 27/11/2023 [add to calendar]
Start Time: 2:00pm
End Date: 27/11/2023
End Time: 4:30pm
RSVP By: Friday 24th of November 2023
Cost: Nil
Organiser: QUT Design Lab
Enquiries: QUT Design Lab:

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