Virtual Dreams: A Study of Atmospheres for Long Term Healthcare Spaces Future Design

Asif, Hooryah
Morrison, Ann
Marks, Stefan
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Master of Creative Technologies
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Auckland University of Technology

Our lives are thought to be influenced by the environments we inhabit. The health care system has a profound effect on the health and well-being of people with long-term mental health conditions. We need more well-designed spaces to improve the quality of people’s lives. Addressing psychological needs is essential to maintaining good health.

Combining Interdisciplinary knowledge in design, healthcare, architecture, and technology can help those in need create happier and more fulfilling living environments. In this practice-based methodological study, I used qualitative methods in conjunction with an artistic and designerly approach.

By including voices of the healthcare community of people who know someone living with a long-term disability, we can incorporate these people’s thoughts and insights into the researcher’s design thinking. I chose as participants, the workers and volunteers, and families of people who were living in the context of Huntington’s disease, to carry out this study.

We can discover unique ideas using technology. Lighting, colour, surreal (dreamlike) art, biophilic design, and sounds can all be used to create wholesome atmospheres to foster mental well-being. In this study, Tilt Brush, a virtual reality painting tool, was used to investigate exploratory concepts. These concepts were then further developed by 3D modeling virtual environments for use in Unreal Engine to allow participants to virtually experience these spaces.

Virtual Reality (VR) is a contemporary way to visualise and experiment with creative outcomes. The virtual mockups made as part of this master’s project calm “happy places,” escapes that can be lived in whilst still being connected to the outside world. These creative ideas are intended to influence and humanise the designs of future indoor environments.

Healthcare , Indoor Environement , Psychological Well-being , Long-term Disability , Huntington's Disease , Biophillic Design , Immersive Experience , 3D Game Design , Virtual Reality
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