The Architecture of Health


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A new book by Michael P. Murphy, Jr. with Jeffrey Mansfield and MASS Design Group

While combating the COVID-19 Pandemic, the public has asked architects why our buildings make us sicker. A new book authored by Founding Principal and Executive Director Michael P. Murphy, Jr. with Design Director Jeffrey Mansfield and MASS Design Group explores this question and unearths how the architecture around us has been influenced by developments in healthcare. The Architecture of Health examines how our built world was shaped by disease and reveals how historical examples can offer us caution and inspiration. 

“At some point, facing tragedy or joy, most of us will spend days, if not weeks, in a hospital, coping with the existential realities of birth and death. Hospitals and architecture can both impede and advance our collective rights — such as the right to healthcare or the right to breathe – but must fulfill our most elemental right: the right to dignity.” Michael P. Murphy Jr., introduction The Architecture of Health.

The Architecture of Health posits that a historical analysis of hospitals is essential to understanding their architectural function in the present. Pamela Horn, the director of cross-platform publishing at Cooper Hewitt writes, this book “charts historical epidemics alongside modern and contemporary architectural transformations in service of medicine, health, and habitation; it explores how infrastructure facilitates healing and architecture’s greater role in constructing our social order.”

Available for pre-order now and shipped in November 2021, the book is being published by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and distributed by Artbook | D.A.P. The book complements a new exhibition at the museum, “Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics,” which opens in December 2021

Read more about the The Architecture of Health release.