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Monday, July 25, 2011

We need to design hospitals as healing places

Today Hay House shares "When Hospitals Heal", an excerpt about entrances from Thomas Moore's latest book, Care of the Soul in Medicine:
"Religious specialists, like me, are particularly interested in what we call liminality — the experience of any kind of threshold. Most churches effectively lead you from the secular world outside to the spiritual realm inside through large, thick, ornate doors and a transitional vestibule or entry that allows you to take the initiatory step of encountering sacred space. A door is not just a physical barrier; it is also an instrument of psychological passage. A purely functional door will get you into the hospital physically, but it takes a special doorway to get your soul in.

Some medical buildings employ a large, expensive atrium for liminality, but a potent architectural detail — an impressive door, flowing water, a grotto, hushed lighting, or a massive stone — could also do the job. These are all traditional ritual objects that are effective for transitions."
Moore continues to discuss the role of signs as a substitute for guiding architecture. Care of the Soul in Medicine is available at a reduce price in paperback from the publisher.