The Technicities of Care in a Psychiatric Precinct
Keywords:Door designs, psychiatry hospital, autonomy, security, sensory design , ethnography
Infrastructures of accessibility have a significant impact on people’s sensory experience of privacy, autonomy, and security in a psychiatric hospital. This is the case for patients and staff. Through an examination of the material and social interactions that staff and patients have at four inpatient psychiatric units, we have identified some of the affective aspects of using a variety of technologies. From locked and alarmed doors, to swipe cards, keys, and individual wristbands used to allow secure access and privacy within the units, each of these infrastructures afford different and sometimes paradoxical experiences. Through this analysis of the ways in which the embodied experiences of accessibility exist in relation to the interior technicities, this article discusses some of the implications for the design and use of physical environments that are dedicated to care, specifically, for psychiatric wellbeing.
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