Salus journal

Healthy Planet. Healthy People.

Healthcare / Quality improvement

European Healthcare Design 2019

The role of intuition in evidence-based design

By D Kirk Hamilton and Stefan Lundin 19 Aug 2019 0

The authors will explore the role of design intuition, especially as it relates to support for, or challenges to, an evidence-based decision model.

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Recognising that many architects and designers produce excellent projects using intuitive decisions far more often than evidence from rigorous research, and noting the increasing interest in an evidence-based healthcare design process, the presenters will seek to find a comfortable theoretical position that accepts both models. 

A theoretical decision model will be described, extending from reliance on evidence to best practice, ordinary practice, intuition, and arbitrary choice. Examples will clarify the role of shared, explicit knowledge (evidence) and personal tacit knowledge (intuition). The presenters believe that both are effectively using knowledge, unconscious in one case, to make effective and relevant design decisions. Implementation of purely arbitrary decisions appears to occur in the absence of relevant knowledge.

The presenters expect to moderate a lively and interesting dialogue among an audience of design practitioners and clinicians, among whom some will feel strongly that evidence supports better design decisions and others point to successful designs not based on any form of research.

The expectation is that attendees will be exposed to new thinking and they will leave with a new perspective on the role of both evidence and intuition in the fascination world of architecture and design.