Contextual Review 2022

Week One


Building the Kauapap, What is Context?

My Response to the Lesley-Ann Noel and Decolonzinig Design

Lesley-Ann Noel is an Assistant Professor who works at the Dept. of Design Studies at North Carolina State University.  She has received her BA in Industrial Design from the Universidade Federal do Paraná, in Curitiba, Brazil. as well as her Master’s in Business Administration from the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago, and her Ph.D. in Design from North Carolina State University in 2018.

Lesley-Ann practices her design through emancipatory, critical, and anti-hegemonic lenses,  with having a key interest and focus for equity, social justice, and the exploring the experiences of people who are excluded from design research.  Her practice and research also explore the work of artists that work outside of America and europe, as an act of decolonisation. 

She promotes a key awareness for designers and design students by working with her theory and concept of the “Designers Critical Alphabet”.  Lesley decided to focus her studies on the minorities of design through her own experiences as a black women in America, as well through her observations as a teacher, through he students. Viewing how art was always focused on white male artists from her students. This giving her the opportunity and drive to focus “on groups of people who may be traditionally excluded from research and design practice”. (searched through her PHD “Teaching and Learning Design Thinking through a Critical Lens at a Primary School in Rural Trinidad and Tobago”.). 

This research’s aim was to challenge the current primary edcucation paradigm in Trinidad and Tobago; to present a alternative theory that builds on the pedagogical style and content of design classes.This thesis resulted in a new design thinking to elementary schools, portraying the observation of how the students engaged critical think skills and empathy. 

I also explored if a design thinking curriculum applied at a young age could build better awareness of social problems among children or could create a sense of agency among them. The findings indicated that there are many ways to build empathy and critical thinking skills, as well as a sense of empowerment in children as they respond to design problems, even in a rural, low-resourced context. In future research, I plan to conduct longitudinal studies to track the impact of design education on the cognitive and social development of the participants.

Week Two


Searching Contexts

Task 1 – Blog: Keywords & Influences

Task: Review your chosen keywords & influences

Suggested Procedure: 

  1. Review your chosen keywords and update them if necessary.  Having a clearer understanding about the focus of your research question and a considered selection of appropriate keywords will assist you to find good research materials.
  2. Choose up to 6 key words and put these on the Contextual Review page on your blog 
  3. Identify an influence on your practice from each of the following contexts: socio-cultural, historical and political.
  4. Post this on your Contextual Review page on your blog.

Feedback: Self-reflection. Peer and lecturer feedback on your blog and/or during in-class discussion.

Task 2 – Annotation template for draft annotation

Task: Write a draft annotation using the annotation template and bring it to next week’s class for peer to peer review. 

Annotation writing template _Mar22.docx  Download Annotation writing template _Mar22.docx 

Suggested Procedure: 

  1. Write a draft annotation using the annotation template. 
  2. Bring it to next week’s class for peer to peer review.

Feedback:  Self-reflection. Peer and lecturer feedback during in-class discussion.

  1. Start ‘looking about’ in order to establish your project’s contextual platform/intellectual neighbourhood.
  2. Write a draft annotation using the annotation template and bring it to next week’s class for peer to peer review (as above)
  3. Start a rolling list of contextual material (potential annotations) and make 2-3 notational blog posts (or equivalent.)

Week Three


What is an annotation?

Task – Annotations brief

Task: Start working on the Annotations brief.
We recommend you complete one Annotation this week following the brief requirement.

This is the annotation template (also in Week 2): Annotation writing template _Mar22-2.docx  Download Annotation writing template _Mar22-2.docx 

See PDF downloadable copy of the brief here:  CR 22 _Formative Assessment _Annotations.pdf  Download CR 22 _Formative Assessment _Annotations.pdf 

 Self-directed learning — Annotation Writing Template

Complete before: Next week’s class

For next week:
Keep adding to your rolling list of contextual material (potential annotations) and aim to make another 2-3 notational blog posts (or equivalent.) (Links to an external site.) 

Suggested Procedure:

  1. Write 3 annotations using the annotation template as a guide.
  2. Ensure each annotation is referenced correctly using Chicago Turabian. (Links to an external site.)
  3. Bring the annotations to class (each one printed out on a separate page) ready for peer-review next week.

Feedback: Self-reflection. Peer and lecturer feedback on your blog and/or during in-class discussion.

Week Four


Walk & Talk Context

Week Five


In Studio Clinic: Annotations

Formative Assessment

Contextual Review : Annotations


Contextual Review – Needs of Patients’ Family Members in an Intensive Care Unit With Continuous Visitation

Jacob, an. (2016). Needs of Patients’ Family Members in an Intensive Care Unit With Continuous Visitation. In American Association of Critical-Care Nurs: Vol. Volume 25, No.2. doi:


Family, Medical, Well-being


This article is a researched-based study that investigates the needs of family members of patients residing in Neuroscience Adult ICU, examining the effects and experiences of “continuous visitation in the patient family member suite unit”. The key notions discussed in this text imply a social context concerning the effects and behaviours experienced by family members, further identifying and testing the spatial support within this medical space. The study develops the current guidelines for the hospital space to fit staff and family members’ standpoints, providing care and support for the inhabitants through the presence and spatial support. 


The article “Needs of Patients’ Family Members in an Intensive Care Unit with Continous Visitation” in “The American Journal of Critical Care” questioned the designed layout placed for visitor visitation access, establishing the lack of studies involving surveying of patients’ family members about their needs and standards met in ICU, in contrast to the 22 studies incorporating surveys of nurses (Mini, J et an.,2016).

The text highlights issues and emotions neglected within the current ICU environment and system through surveys, providing the position of further harm and anxiety created within these traumatic spaces; sitting on the family’s side, trying to meet all of their needs. 

This text stood out to me as, within the design of healthcare, the patient’s and staff’s experience is considered the most important, yet within an ICU space, almost everyone is important due to the nature created from illnesses circumstances. The study’s approach to meeting the family member’s needs of “getting information about the patient, visiting and being given hope(P121)” was effective through the provided access and environment for presence and care, creating a less stressful environment. 


The relevance of this article and its connection to improving the ICU experience by developing visitation access for the family members are crucial to my context of spatially providing care and support for family members within medical environments. This study helped enlighten my thinking surrounding the individuals involved in medical spaces. With my proposal creating a safe healthcare experience within a public consultation space, I had initially taken into account the experience of the patient and doctor. 

With a new insight into healthcare experiences, I have explored the needs of the community, providing and allowing the ability for whanau and family to be further spaced into my research. Meeting the communities needs, allowing this presence of support to create a safe and calming medical experience. 

The key insight from the study is the family member’s need for patient medical insights and presence (Luthar et al., 2014, pp. 136); this opportunity allows all effected inhabitants to have a safe medical experience. 

Contextual Review – Healing Environment’s Variable to Reduce Anxiety in Cardiovascular Patients

N Permatasari et al. (2021). Healing Environment’s Variable to Reduce Anxiety in Cardiovascular Patients. OP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science794.


Healing Environment, Cardiovascular Patient, Level of Anxiety, Well-being, Nature 


The text “Healing Environment’s Variable to Reduce Anxiety Cardiovascular Patients” focuses on the study of “healing environment” qualities that influence the reduction of anxiety levels of cardiovascular patients during their treatment at the hospital; examining the theoretical and historical contexts of natural scenes and traits, and the effects that are resulted to one’s wellbeing. 

This research and experimentation of providing visual access to natural environments and qualities argue that patients who experience natural scenes in a medical space encounter less anxiety in a medical space. 


The text’s exploration provides an understanding of the environmental spatial effects created concerning stress-inducing environments, either triggering or calming the individual. Through analysis of anxiety levels of current patients, the authors illustrate the experience of the anxiety occurring whilst patients are waiting or having medical procedures performed (Permatasari, N. et an.,2020). 

These highlighted problems within these patients sparked the concept of a “healing environment” as a solution. Through exploration of environmental effects, the position of nature as the crucial component of a healing environment was utilised.

Interestingly the text refers to a study related to distraction therapy by exploring the effects of a window view as visual stimulation. Concluding that patients who experienced nature felt less pain and anxiety whilst undergoing a painful procedure (Permatasari, N. et an.,2020). 

The use of incorporating the surrounding environment as a support mechanism was vital in reducing anxiety levels, reducing anxiety levels by 2,833 times (Permatasari, N. et an.,2020), displaying the new support and comfort qualities having an apparent effect on their wellbeing.


The relevance of the text’s research in understanding and portraying the current scenes of anxiety within medical spaces and the connection of the objective of a healing environment are critical to creating a safe and relaxing hospital experience. 

Within my practice of creating a safe medical space, specifically through biophilic design, using this new understanding of healing environment variables as indicators for incorporating natural elements. Using this notion of “healing” to the atmosphere as safe, incorporating the methods in my design safe experience for the patient but for the surrounding community. My design aims to create a medical space for communities that neglect healthcare for their own personal reasons, so controlling the concept of a healing environment to alter the standing perception and experience of the healthcare spaces. 

Contextual Review – Applying the Benefits of Biophilic Theory to hospital Design

Totaforti, S. 2018. Applying the Benefits of Biophilic Theory to Hospital Design, (City Territ Archit2018).


 Biophilic design, Hospital, Nature, City


The text “Applying the Benefits of Biophilic Theory to Hospital Design” explores the relationship between the ever-evolving urban world and the connection to the natural environment, reconnecting the lost effects of the healing and therapeutic mechanisms found within the environment. 

Totafori discusses biophilic design’s historical and social context in relation to urban architecture and the environment, arguing that architecture creates separation and degradation between humanity and the natural process within communities (2018). 

Concerning the connection between biophilic design and healthcare environments, the statement of natural elements performing successfully in these spaces with their high anxiety level. Since hospital spaces and the city environment are separate but interconnected systems, the environment depicted can keep this attachment. 


The Totafori discusses the origins of the term “biophilic design” with its interworking with architecture, following from the concept of sustainable or low impact design, which focuses on the “respect” of nature (2018); having biophilic design provides the missing elements, integrating the nature into the built environment.

The concept of biophilia within hospital spaces holds this intricate relationship between humans and the environment, creating stimuli reactions through the design’s naturalistic forms (symbolically) and the vernacular dimension (Totafori, S.2018). As medical spaces have the idea of being a public environment and representing the community, it creates the perfect atmosphere to depict the humanisation of the beauty and recovery of humans and nature in the architecture. This makes healthcare experiences less anxiety-filled, allowing hospitals to be a function rather than a container. 


Through the text, Totafori concludes that hospital environments are not just a space of therapeutic knowledge and innovation but an environment where human relationships are created. (2018). Allowing the effects of biophilic design to create safe experiences within the medical spaces, creating a new perspective on healthcare. 

The text mentions the findings of Ulrich’s study within the 1980s, which analysed patients’ medical records in Pennsylvania hospital; understanding the patients with a landscape view had many beneficial effects. Concluded that ‘looking at greenery and nature reduces hospitalisation time by 8% (Ulrich 1984)” and that “95% of patients and families exposed to direct contact with nature reported lowered stress levels(Ulrich 1984)”. 

Justifying the success and effects of biophilic design within medical environments, influencing the relationship between users and medical environments, positively effecting individuals’ well-being and health. 

Within my practice of exploring various accesses to nature through emulating sensory and textural designs of naturalistic forms to improve the psychological and physical wellbeing of potential users of the Teleyhub consultation space.

Week 6

Informal Geographies-mapping projects



Re-Imaging Healthcare, Through Embodiment and Support


Context: Mannakitagia

Keywords: Manaakitanga, Support, Care, Value 

Methodology: Person-Centred Design.

Paradigm: Cultural, Communal, Inclusive, Health Equity

  • Designing and providing for the community. Creating a space where everyone feels welcomed and cared for when needing help, allowing their thoughts and opinions to be important. 

Methods: Interviews, Surveys, User Thinking, Behavioural Research, Case Studies. 

Seminal Texts:


Context: Telehealth

Keywords: Telehealth, Redevelopment

Methodology: Person-Centred Design

Paradigm: The future of healthcare

  • Creating a system and space that will become independent for communities, so they can become in charge of their health and well-being. This concept allows the system of healthcare to be experienced in a new and innovative manner. 

Methods: Case Studies, Current Systems (innovators), Literature Review 

Seminal Texts:


Context: User/Person-Centred.

Keywords: Communal, Health-Equity 

Methodology: Person-Centred.

Paradigm: Re-Thinking Healthcare.

  • Creating a space that is meeting the needs of the users in their desired medical experience. Listening and understanding what is required from space to access. 

Method: Interviews, Surveys, User Thinking, Behavioural Research, Case Studies. 

Seminal Texts:


Context: Biophilia+Embodiment.

Keywords: Biophilia, Embodiment, Repose 

Methodology: Biomimicry + Distraction Therapy.

Paradigm: Biophilia.

  • My creative practice considers the calming ideas of Distraction Therapy through the methodology of Biomimicry, developing the exploration of embodiment, creating a reposed atmosphere through similar shaping and inspiration of Biophilia (nature). 
  • The ‘humanisation of the beauty and recovery of humans and nature (Totafortis, S. 2018).

Method: Watercolour, Paint Blowing, Surface Design, Biophilic Design- airflow, light access, Behavioural Research, Case Studies 


Concept: Repose

Methodology: Practice-Based

Paradigm: Cultural, Community, Biophilia 

  • Creating an interior space that will have a therapeutic atmosphere and experience for the users. Creating a new norm of hospital spaces- of a place to heal and restore, rather than an environment of deterioration. 

Method: Materiality Analysis + Exploration, Watercolour, Blender Software, Swatches, User Thinking, Behavioural Research, Case Studies 

(this concept relies on the final making of the space) 

Week 7

Pūrākau/Storytelling-Tone in Academic Writing


Week 8

Writing your essay


Week 9

Tuhinga hukihuki – Reviews of preliminary writing 


Week 10

Tuhinga hukihuki – Reviews of preliminary writing


Week 11

Tuhinga hukihuki – Reviews of preliminary writing


Week 12

Summative Assessment


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