1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: Our aim is to investigate how a new master studies course “Architecture, Health, and Well-being” (AHW) supports development of students’ skills in understanding and assessing health-related research as well as applying research-based knowledge through unfolding of user perspectives in their design projects. Background: With the growing focus on health-related research in Danish design practice, knowing how to translate research findings into research-informed design strategies becomes a preferable, if not (yet) a critical, skill. This calls for architecture educations to reconsider their graduate profiles and teaching curricula, thereby addressing research-to-practice gap. Method: Based on design project hand-ins, we evaluate whether students participating in the AHW course
demonstrate greater sensibility toward user experiences and research-based design (RBD) in their master thesis projects, compared to students attending a more traditional architectural tectonic track. Evaluation relates to the use of scientific literature and theoretical frameworks on topics like “healing architecture” and applied user-oriented methods (interviews, personas, demographics). Results: Our explorative analysis indicates that students have the skills to make a detailed user analysis when it comes to well-defined user groups in a highly specialized building (e.g., hospice patients and staff). The extent to which health-related research and user perspectives are applied in the design process seems to be primarily driven by thematic focus of the project (welfare buildings in contrast to housing). Conclusion: Despite the challenges in teaching students to assess and apply academic literature, a RBD paradigm in architectural education can help bridge emerging research knowledge with design skills and professional competencies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)71-86
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • research to design practice
  • Architectural Education
  • Integrated Design Process
  • research-informed design
  • neuroscience for architecture
  • cognitive science applied to architecture
  • user perspective

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