Conceptualisation of an intelligent salutogenic room environment

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Dalton, Cathy
Harrison, J. D.
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Human functioning in the built environment is affected by the degree of “fit” or congruence between a user and her/his surroundings [1, 2]. By extension, the culture of care-giving and physical environment of care settings are inextricably linked. This conceptual model, developed in the context of the MyRoom project [3], is based on analysis of prerequisites for psychosocial congruence, drawn from theories of environmental psychology [4, 5], and from the evidence-base [6]. The model examines how these requirements may be addressed through architectural design enhanced by ubiquitous affective computing, integrated into the built environment, to maximise person-environment fit in healthcare settings. Where specific user needs, arising from cognitive and physical impairment associated with ageing and dementia, are not fully met by the built environment, these needs may be addressed through affective computing. This is to be achieved by means of real-time processing of data from an integrated system of Body Sensor Networks and Room Sensor Networks. This paper describes in detail an adaptive salutogenic single-user room in an elderly care setting, as a template of how an environment responsive to a user’s physical and emotional state might be realised, promoting salutogenesis [7] through optimal congruence. Psychosocial congruence, on which this paper focuses, is enhanced through actuation of multisensory applications designed to provide appropriate stimulation. Recent research on affective computing for children with ASD may be translational [8, 9]. A majority of elderly persons in residential care have some form of dementia [10]. This implies that design of residential care and dementia care environments for elderly people is effectively inseparable. Architecture, further enhanced by ambient technologies, has the capacity to act as a major, and timely catalyst for a radical re-thinking of the culture and environment of care.
Salutogenesis , Affective computing , Healthcare , Dementia , Responsive environments
Dalton, C. and Harrison, J. D. (2012) 'Conceptualisation of an intelligent salutogenic room Environment', in Breedon, P. (ed.) Smart Design. London: Springer-Verlag, pp. 87-95. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4471-2975-2_10
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