Submission deadline:

April 22, 2022

Workshop Transforming Hospital Architecture

June 15 & 16, 2022

Istituto Svizzero, in collaboration with the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture at ETH Zurich, and the Department Architecture, Built environment and Construction engineering (ABC) at Politecnico di Milano, is hosting a workshop in Milan on the 15th and 16th June in 2022.

The workshop focuses on the hospital as both object and hyper-object of architecture and design, in the light of its historical and contemporary transformations, from the scale of the bed to the scale of the city.

The architecture of the hospital presents irresolvable dilemmas for both cities and individual patients. At the scale of the city, an urban planner, seeking to optimize logistics and accessibility, might seek to place the hospital in the center. A different planner, concerned with rehabilitation and contagion, might argue that it should be far outside the city. Their two approaches cannot be resolved by a single plan. In order to satisfy the complex regulations that define hospital design, one architect might argue for a megastructure. Another might propose a precinct of buildings, a city within a city. Either way, technological change, upgrades and expansions will break apart single coherent buildings on the one hand, and slowly merge individual buildings into a single complex organism on the other. Hospitals owe their existence to multiple actors and interdisciplinary endeavors. As recent anthropological research demonstrates, the hospital is best thought of in its thick multiplicity (Kehr/Chabrol 2020). What is the designer to do in the face of such overwhelming complexity? This complexity also has a historical dimension. Since the Middle Ages, the hospital has been an institution in constant flux, continually shifting both its procedures and its architecture in response to societal changes, transformations in medical knowledge and political and epidemic events. This workshop invites architects, architectural historians, and historians of medicine to reflect on this tangled history.

The keynote will be held by Prof. Stefano Capolongo, Architect, and Professor for Hospital Design and Urban Health at Politecnico di Milano.

Please send a one-page abstracts (maximum 500 words) in either English or Italian, by 22 April 2022.

Dr. Maria Boehmer, Head of Science, Research and Innovation at Istituto Svizzero

More information can be found in the full call for papers here.

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