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Healing Rhythms - The Impact of the Aural Environment in Healing Space Open Access

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The human definition of space is crafted from individual sensory experience. How a particular space appears is the result of how one or a combination of the five senses interprets the built environment. Each sensory element contributes to the definition, translation and meaning ascribed to the space. The senses translate spatial cues to purvey function and convey emotion. Design directs the composition of sensory components, the aesthetic, structural and functional variables that create the spatial experience. Research recognizes the importance of the built environment to impact healing. Evidence-based design for healthcare considers sensory elements to create an environment conducive to healing. How a space looks, smells, feels and sounds is shown to impact clinical outcomes. Functional, visual and acoustic variables can affect a healing dynamic within the clinical space. Color, light, art, nature and music and are arranged within a space to evoke a healing experience. The well-designed aural environment is shown to impact the healthcare setting. Acoustic variables facilitate healing, promote well-being and improve the quality of care. Design elements function as aesthetic instruments and therapeutic resources that promote healing.The intent of this study is to demonstrate the power of sound to impact healing. This thesis research addresses the following objectives: * Examine the research basis of evidence-based design to define the healing environment. * Illustrate the variables important to support a healing design strategy. * Explore the impact of the aural environment and aural architecture within healing space. * Identify the acoustic considerations critical to shape a healing experience. * Interpret how sound inspires and informs design to create an effective aural environment. * Investigate the impact of sound variables to affect healing both as a critical design element and a therapeutic resource. * Evidence the efficacy of a sound inspired healing design strategy within the cancer treatment clinic environment.This research is derived from an examination of peer-reviewed journals, professional sources, literature, periodicals, interviews and case studies. The analysis serves to inform a design concept for a cancer treatment clinic to articulate the impact of the aural environment in healing space.

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