THE CREATION, EVOLUTION , AND DEGRADATION OF THERAPEUTIC LANDSCAPE DURING THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURIES IN THE UNITED STATES
Cook, Kelly Dianne
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During the 18th and 19th centuries, planners, and medical reformists emphasized the restorative effects of natural settings in healthcare facilities. Then, in the 19th and 20th centuries, many hospitals campuses across the United States extensively applied therapeutic landscapes in their designs. While the architectural history of hospitals has been studied thoroughly, the gardens of healthcare institutions have not been independently investigated. In the 20th century, socio-cultural changes and modern technologies caused a degradation of therapeutic landscapes in hospitals. Today, new approaches to medicine and health necessitate a reexamination and reinvention of hospital landscapes in order to better align hospital atmospheres with modern healthcare goals. The goal of this dissertation research is to understand the transformation of hospital landscapes, their evolution and degradation within their socio-cultural context during the 19th and 20th centuries in the United States. This study will also addresses the broad concept of therapeutic landscapes and holistic approaches to using hospital gardens for restorative purposes. Therefore, this research aims to redefine the therapeutic landscape in healthcare facilities by proposing ideas to expand their socio – cultural capacities and extend their therapeutic properties beyond conventional practice. This research hypothesizes that throughout the 19th and 20th centuries in the United States, the therapeutic landscape in hospitals was degraded, and that the reemergence of conventional landscape practices is insufficient to address the whole healing properties of hospital sites. To achieve the stated goal, this research applied a qualitative approach through a case study method. Data collection was conducted via a triangulation strategy, and included semi- structural interviews, content analysis, and an extensive literature review. In analyzing the collected data, I used thick description, spatial-comparative analysis, and content analysis integrated into a holistic framework, in order to examine both historical and modern practices. Analysis of results concluded that throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the therapeutic hospital landscapes in the United States became degraded due to the introduction of new technologies. In addition, the reemergence of conventional landscape practices, such as small healing gardens, does not fully address the restorative potential of hospital sites. Therefore, many new possibilities need to be explored and implemented.