Design of Rapidly Assembled Isolation Patient Ward – IT-Supported Collaborative Design Process between Architects and Medical Officers
An important feature of the 2003 SARS outbreak in Canada, Singapore, and Hong Kong was that many health care workers (HCWs) developed SARS after caring for patients with SARS. This has been ascribed to inadequate or ineffective patient isolation. However, it is difficult for dense cities to provide sufficient isolation facilities within a short period of time. This has raised concerns from the public for new strategies in the planning and design of isolation facilities. Considering that SARS or other infectious diseases could seriously damage our society’s development, isolation facilities that could be rapidly and economically constructed with appropriate environmental controls are essential. For this reason, the design team of the Department of Architecture collaborated with a special task force from the Faculty of Medicine, who are the frontline medical officers treating the SARS patients, to design Rapidly Assembled Isolation Patient Wards. Both architecture and medicine are well established disciplines, but they have little in common in terms of the mode of knowledge construction and practice. This induced much intellectual exploration and research interest in conducting this study. The process has provided an important reference for cross disciplinary studies between the architectural and medical domains.
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