User-centered, Research-based Design of Futuristic Intensive Care Units

By Carlos Montana-Hoyos, Stephen D. Trathen, Balaji Bikshandi, Blake Fenwick, Hugh Stehlik and Frank M.P. Van Haren.

Published by The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: April 4, 2016 Free Download

This paper discusses the planning, implementation and results of a design research project developed with Industrial Design post-graduate students, which used ergonomics and user-centred design approaches in health-services environments, specifically Intensive Care Units (ICU) in Hospitals, to design innovative ICU design concepts. Initially, a review of the literature shows current approaches to ICU design, mainly from an architectural perspective. Current and futuristic visions for ICU spaces are illustrated through examples from architecture and science fiction movies. The concept of “very large scale integration” within digital technologies is also discussed, as a basis for possible design directions. Subsequently, field work through user-observations, surveys and unstructured interviews of patients, family, and healthcare workers (mainly nurses and medical doctors) carried on at the Calvary John James Hospital (CJJH) and the Canberra Hospital (CH) are described, and main findings are summarized. Based on the previous research, tangible outcomes of this project also include some short-term solutions as well as futuristic conceptual design proposals.

Keywords: Industrial Design (ID), User-Centered Design (UCD), Intensive Care Units (ICU)

The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design, Volume 10, Issue 3, September, 2016, pp.1-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: April 4, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.225MB)).

Assoc. Prof. Carlos Montana-Hoyos

Associate Professor of Industrial Design, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Dr. Stephen D. Trathen

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Balaji Bikshandi

Intensivist, Intensive care unit, Dubbo Base Hospital, Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia

Blake Fenwick

Masters Student (2012), Industrial Design, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Hugh Stehlik

Masters Student (2012), Industrial Design, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Frank M.P. Van Haren

Director of Intensive Care Research, Intensive Care Unit, The Canberra Hospital, Canberra, ACT, Australia