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Dr Rebecca McLaughlan

Rebecca’s research takes place at the intersection of architecture, medicine, media and pedagogy. Her current research examines opportunities for the built environment to support wellbeing within healthcare settings. She is engaged as a Research Fellow on the ARC-linkage project “Designing for Wellbeing” and is a studio leader within the CDE / thesis subjects, where her work explores speculative design as a research method both within healthcare and more broadly. Her current interests include facilities for mental health, oncology, paediatric and palliative care.

Rebecca is the first scholar to have completed a comprehensive interrogation of New Zealand’s history of mental hospital architecture. She examined this typology relative to its representation in the media and changing approaches to treatment between the late-nineteenth and late-twentieth century, including the theory that the careful articulation of architecture and landscape could aid the restoration of sanity. She is a New Zealand Registered Architect with experience in high-end and social housing.

Current research grants:

‘Overcoming the Current Limitations of EBD Research Using VR Technology’ University of Melbourne Early Career Researcher Grant 2017

This pilot project seeks to capitalise on the increasing accessibility of virtual reality technologies to advance the research methods currently available in the field of Evidence Based Design with the intent of better understanding subjective, psychological responses to the environments architects’ create.


For more details visit their Find An Expert profile