Can Architecture Affect your Health?
Can architecture be good for your health? Or to put it in another way, can architecture make a difference to society, business productivity, profits and to hospitals? With cancer patients, could it affect the longevity of life, or make a difference with outcomes? ‘Architecture or Revolution’? Why do architects preach their better world, their utopian projects? But, you may well ask, how would this Beneficent effect square with the Hawthorne effect? And, even if it turns out to be true, is it the result of the architecture or the institution; the building or the service we provide? However crude a statistic, it does beg some questions: how can phoney things work? Or to introduce a legal perplexity: how can we license witch-doctors? Or, switching the discussion to architecture: how do we gauge the effect of a building on health if, like the placebo effect, it is partly in the mind? To put the question differently, is there an architectural placebo?