New Hospital, Malmö, by White Architects
New Hospital, Malmö, by White Architects


ACEX35​, Masters’ thesis direction, 2022/2023

Description and aim

We are in the middle of a transformation and development of healthcare, which in turn affects the development of physical space for health and care. Sustaining health is a top priority nationally and globally. A crucial part lies within planning of the physical environment to tackle for example pandemic outbreaks and multi resistant bacteria as well as meeting global sustainability goals and demographic changes.

Designing spaces for healthcare is one of the most complex and therefor challenging architectural design commissions. Today healthcare is delivered or received in a continuum ranging from our homes to clinical care. Completely new places for healthcare emerge when e-health develops. This MT direction offers you the possibility to work with this complexity, combining technical solutions, strategic logistics and work environment issues, but with the user experience, with its existential and emotional aspects, as a core.

The aim of the preparation course is for the students to develop and finalize a critically and methodologically informed master's thesis project plan that allows an examiner to assess the potential and feasibility of the project. The course prepares the students for their master’s thesis under the guidance of examiner and supervisors. It explores specific theories and/or design methods associated with healthcare architecture. It trains the students’ ability to use these as a basis for formulating a design problem and/or research query.

The aim of the master thesis course in healthcare architecture is to support your understanding of the challenges in the complex process of designing healthcare facilities and develop sustainable innovative architectural solutions.

Preparation course; method and process

The preparation course will be organized as a combination of teaching sessions, group discussion and shared presentations, with a strong focus on individual work between scheduled sessions.

Based on the student’s prior knowledge and experience, the tutors will support and guide you in finding the appropriate scope for your master thesis. We welcome projects in collaborations with ongoing research projects and real-world problems/projects. Suggested projects about, for example; neuroarchitecture, and children habilitation, health promotive building design, the future of primary healthcare, digi-physical healthcare, VR in hospital planning processes, large scale hospital planning. We allow for MT that are design-based or text-driven or a combination.

It is recommended to work in pair. This will enable the students to take on a more complex task, and study it in more detail, alongside with the benefits of having a discussion partner.

The teaching team of the direction are all closely connected to research, practice or both. The Centre for Healthcare Architecture (CVA) will be a resource for all students and offers network and contacts with relevant stakeholders as well as access to recent research and literature. Healthcare design projects are tackled in a multimethodological approach where several ways of working are combined, including exploration of literature, observations, stakeholder mapping, user interviews, and co-design.

As methodological and pedagogical reference, the following masters’ courses in architecture and healthcare problem solving are presented as tightly connected to this thesis direction:
  • Healthcare Studio - Future visions for healthcare housing and work -
  • Residential healthcare – Housing for seniors
  • Tracks course

Specific submission requirements, MT proposal project plan

The submission is based upon the MT proposal that includes; 
  • title page, project name
  • your name, course name, date and tutors
  • abstract (300 words) including research question
  • a statement about why and how your topic is relevant in a societal/healthcare perspective
  • an exploration focused on process (method) including chosen work approaches, planning, with weekly objectives and deliverables
  • a reflection on professional skills and earlier experiences/learnings in relation to healthcare design
  • a description / exploration of reference projects (written / built) and relevance / motivation
  • a portfolio including education overview with finished courses (and credits), work experience and educational projects.

Suggested literature

For a general introduction to the field of healthcare architecture: 

Wagenaar, C. & Mens, N. (2018). Hospitals. A Design Manual. Berlin, Basel: Birkhäuser
Verderber, S. (2010). Innovations in hospital architecture. Routledge.   

More literature will be suggested, depending on focus, some examples: 
Health Building Note 00-01 General design guidance for healthcare buildings (  

CVA reports (in Swedish) 

Earlier master thesis projects are found here:

Direction faculty

Division for Building Design,  
Centre for Healthcare Architecture,

Johanna Eriksson 
Cristiana Caira  
Göran Lindahl 

Page manager Published: Thu 08 Sep 2022.