Design as a Rehabilitative Tool for People with Acquired Brain Injury: Mapping the Field
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People live their lives in an ongoing relationship with the physical environment. In the following review, a range of factors which may influence the design and construction as well as the occupation of an environmental setting for people with acquired brain injury (ABI), are described. During a person's rehabilitation, the environment may support his or her protection, while simultaneously promoting independence and learning. In a discussion regarding the design of built environments for people with ABI, medical, or allied health perspectives usually dominate. To design settings that support these objectives, the designer perspectives, be they interior, architectural, or landscape, must be identified. Typically, designers and architects do not adopt a linear approach to creating environments, but rather they integrate what Nigel Cross calls a designerly way of knowing. A designer-stance may broaden possibilities while supporting the appropriate models of care or philosophy of rehabilitation. The aim of this review is to map and summarize the breadth of current literature that involves or could inform the design of facilities for people with ABI. Such a review is necessary to consolidate what is known, in order to build upon it. The overall aim is to inform design professionals of the breadth of considerations when designing for people with ABI. In addition, it will inform managers, carers and allied health professionals of current understandings. Conceptualizations from different disciplinary perspectives of designing for rehabilitation of people with ABI are discussed.