Nirit Pilosof: Architecture for Health in the time of COVID-19
Healthcare architecture requires a design strategy for future change. A life-cycle approach to the hospital operation must take into account the constant and rapid transformations in medicine, technology, and sociology. The outbreak of COVID-19 caused hospitals to change their operations in order to isolate infected patients and prevent contamination of the medical staff. The need to control hospitals occupancy led to policies of social distancing and environmental isolation to “flatten the curve” and avoid an overall crisis in the healthcare system. Can we design hospitals for future change? What is the impact of the physical environment of hospitals on the performance of the healthcare system? Healthcare architecture adopted the approach of Evidence-based Design (EBD), following the approach of Evidence-based Medicine (EBM), which recognizes the impact of the built environment on the healing process of patients and the wellbeing of the staff. This approach is currently being tested in the rapid design and construction of COVID-19 emergency hospitals around the world by adapting existing structures and new buildings, and by applying innovative medical technologies. Can we design emergency hospitals to support the healing and wellbeing of patients and staff? How will medical technologies impact the design of future hospitals?
Nirit is a Post-doctoral researcher with a Ph.D. from the Technion, Post-Professional M.Arch from McGill University and an EDAC from the US. A Healthcare design consultant with experience as a design project manager at leading architecture firms in Israel and Canada. Nirit won prestigious international awards from the AIA and the American Hospital Association. A fellow of the Azrieli Foundation fellowship and the executive member of Israel at the UIA Public Health Group.