Healing by Design

Design of Public Spaces for Children’s Hospitals
  • Rawa AbulawiEmail author
  • Stuart Walker
  • Christopher Boyko
Conference paper
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 135)


This research focuses on four main topics: children’s cognitive developments—it relates to age-appropriate interior design; children’s healing environments; public spaces in hospitals—interior architecture and interior design; contextual issues—specifically the religious, ethnic and national context of Palestine. The literature indicates that research is needed in the design of healing environments for children to create spaces that are child-friendly and meet their cognitive development needs. In Palestine, qualitative data were collected during nine co-design and co-creation workshops that included arts-based activities and semi-structured interviews. Participants included children from 3 to 18 years, parents, medical staff and four groups of designers. The study uses a thematic analysis approach for analysing the qualitative data. The results of the analysis were sorted into main themes and sub-themes. The key findings of this study inform guidelines and recommendations for the design of children’s hospitals, particularly public spaces in the context of Palestine.


Children’s hospital Healing environment Interior design Co-design Co-creation 



We would like to show our grateful to all the research participants and to An-Najah National University for supporting this research.

Ethics Issue

Before starting data collection, researchers acquired necessary ethics approvals from the RSO Ethics Committee at Lancaster University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rawa Abulawi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Stuart Walker
    • 1
  • Christopher Boyko
    • 1
  1. 1.Lancaster UniversityLancasterEngland, UK
  2. 2.An-Najah National UniversityNablusPalestine

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