Evidence and Architectural Competency within the Healthcare Procurement Ecosystem


  • Rebecca McLaughlan
  • Kieran Richards




Evidencebased Design, Healthcare Design, Stakeholder Communication


Since the emergence of evidence-based design in the 1990s, much has been written about the role of systematically produced research for improving the quality of healthcare facilities. There has been comparatively little discussion, however, regarding the extent to which evidence may be seen to minimise a range of risks traditionally mitigated through the expertise of the architect. Drawing on our own fieldwork alongside relevant secondary literatures, this paper examines the effects of evidence on perceptions of architectural competency within healthcare procurement. While the availability of design-related evidence was not always observed to alter a design approach it did engender more profound forms of communication between stakeholders, enabling more meaningful interactions between the value orientations those stakeholders represent. In this way, we argue, the emergence of evidence-based design is less a challenge to the professional competency of the architect than a tool for validating this competency, couched in terms that stakeholders from other disciplines customarily recognise.