The Architecture of Health: Power, Technology, and the Hospital

This seminar traces the form of the hospital from the beginning of modern medicine through to the present, across Europe, the United States, and Africa. The seminar considers the hospital in a complex historical context that includes political and social systems, medical science, and architectural thought. It relies on historical scholarship, original sources, and case studies to demonstrate the hospital’s role as a receptor and a generator of new politics, social orders, and architectural paradigms, and describe the design tensions that have defined the typology throughout history.

This course will draw on the experience of a number of guest speakers representing perspectives from across the sectors of design, health care, and global health. Ultimately, it is the mission of the course to ask the question, “what is the hospital? How and why has it evolved over time? And how does it need to evolve to meet our global needs for health into the future.”

Students in this course will have the opportunity to contribute their original research and analysis to a publication with MASS Design Group on the topic of the seminar.