Evidence-Based Design in Architecture Linking Cognition and Architecture to Design Resilient Healthcare Architecture Logo

Fall 2022 Wednesday 18:00 - 20:00 ONLINE ETH Zurich

Software Exercise 1 Exercise 2 Exercise 3 Exercise 4
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Course Lecturers

Dr. Michal Gath-Morad, michal.gath@gess.ethz.ch, Prof. Dr. Christoph Hölscher

Guest Lecturers

Christian Veddeler, Dr. Laura Narvaez Zertuche, Dr. Leonel Aguilar

Teaching Assistant

Raphaël Baur, rabaur@student.ethz.ch


Course Description

Today, more than ever before, the design and frequent adaptation of healthcare environments by means of architectural design is critical for occupant-related outcomes that emerge from situated interactions between people, technologies and objects over time. Despite the great potential architecture holds for improving health outcomes, architecture students (and as a result, practicing architects alike) are often forced to rely on their intuition and experience to anticipate occupants’ behavior in response to architectural design solutions. This gap results in critical design problems that contribute to patients’ infection rates, longer hospitalization stay, disorientation, stress and confusion, as well as medical staff dissatisfaction and unnecessary costs.

At the same time, the field of cognitive science, supported by empirical methods and innovative advancements in AI-supported virtual reality simulations, offers novel and more precise ways of forecasting human behavior. Our aim is to take a step towards bridging the disconnect between these two fields and integrate cognitive science methods into architectural design education to equip students with tools to become better practitioners, able to leverage scientific and analytical skills to design more humane and sustainable environments.

Our teaching this semester is generously funded by an ETH Innovedum grant.


Course Schedule

C# Date Description Exercise Recording
#1 21.09. Semester Kickoff - Introduction Class Handout: EXC1 (in pairs) Link
#2 28.09. Part 1: Students present EXC1 Part 2: Student+Caregivers working groups    
#3 05.10. Agent-Based Simulations to analyze design tradeoffs Handout: EXC2 (in pairs) Link
#4 12.10. Part 1: Students present EXC2 Part 2: Student working groups    
#5 19.10. Topological Analysis of hospital typologies to predict quality of care, nursing efficiency and wayfinding difficulties Handout: EXC3 (in pairs)  
#6 26.10 D-ARCH seminar week no class    
#7 02.11. Part 1: Students present EXC3 (Topological analysis) Part 2: Student working groups    
#8 09.11. Virtual Reality to analyse patient and caregivers’ experience in Emergency Departments Handout: EXC 4 (in pairs)  
#9 16.11. Part 1: Students present EXC4 (VR) Part 2: Student working groups    
#10 23.11. Student working groups: Mirror Mirror on the wall - which emergency department typology is the “best” of them all? How is it better? How to interpret results and communicate it as evidence in the design process?    
#11 30.11. Interactive poster design session    
#12 07.12. Final Presentations Poster Session (in person) including a best poster award competition! (in pairs)  
#13 14.12. Design studio - no class    
#14 21.12. Design studio - no class    

Grading