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Durham University

Department of English Studies


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Publication details for Professor Jane Macnaughton

Macnaughton, RJ (2007). Art in Hospital Spaces: the Role of Hospitals in an Aestheticised Society. International Journal of Cultural Policy 13(1): 85-101.

Author(s) from Durham


There is a keen interest in hospital design in the UK fuelled by the largest hospital building programme ever undertaken within the NHS. Architects and NHS planners are gaining advice and inspiration from the growing evidence-based design movement. Part of this movement is interested in the role of artworks in creating soothing, therapeutic environments. This paper draws on the experience of a research project on the role of art in a new hospital in the North East of England to suggest that there might be an additional cultural role for art in hospitals, and for hospital buildings. The paper examines the wider evidence for this and the history behind it, and places the idea within an aesthetic framework with reference to research results from the study.

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