Making Evidence Visible: Using Mock-ups in Healthcare Design

  • Altug Kasali Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Nancy J. Nersessian Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Craig M. Zimring Georgia Institute of Technology
Keywords: Healthcare design, ethnography, mock-up


While the healthcare design community has increasingly focused on using research evidence in design decision-making and on using collaborative practices, there has been very little research into how interdisciplinary design teams operate in the real world and especially how they communicate and attempt to integrate evidence from different sources into architectural practice. This paper reports on one focus within along term ethnographic study of the design of a community hospital. It explores how physical mock-ups allowed multidisciplinary teams to collectively experiment and to gain shared understanding of affordances and constraints within the design of the patient room, and particularly how the teams explored the impact ofdesign on visibility within the patient room within the context of new models of distributed nursing. In our systematic observations, mock-ups emerged as key media to represent actual spaces to facilitate andsupport interdisciplinary decision-making. The ‘interactional expertise’ of project architects combined with interactive properties of mock-up rooms, which acted as ‘boundary objects’ among participants with different disciplinary backgrounds, helped this particular community to conduct a local research activity in order to generate first-hand evidence with regards to the design of patient rooms.
How to Cite
Kasali, A., Nersessian, N., & Zimring, C. (2013). Making Evidence Visible: Using Mock-ups in Healthcare Design. ARCC Conference Repository.
Peer-reviewed Papers