‘Meet the jury’ seminar – Building support for cancer care: Learning from Maggie’s Centres

With her PhD research, Research[x]Designer Pleuntje Jellema seeks to foreground the built environment in the experiences of cancer care. At the occasion of her PhD defense, we organize a ‘meet the jury’ seminar about the Maggie’s Centres, a network of 21 centres across the UK, Barcelona, Hong-Kong and Tokyo which offer free practical, emotional and social support to anyone affected by cancer. Following the ideas about cancer care originally laid out by Maggie Keswick Jencks, the Centres’ built space plays a key role in the support offered.


Maggie’s as a synergy between people and place, by Lesley Howells, Maggie’s Centres

In this talk, clinical psychologist Lesley Howells offers her perspective on architecture and the mindfulness/value based approaches to living that she introduces to people. The unique aspects of Maggie’s Architectural Brief will be explored in her talk, capturing how their bespoke extraordinary work in synergy with people to help build and fine tune resilience  and psychological flexibility in the face of cancer.

Lesley Howells is Research Lead for the Maggie’s network of 20+ centres. She is also Centre Head for Maggie’s Dundee and the Maggie’s Lead Consultant Clinical Psychologist for Scotland. Lesley’s responsibilities for the Maggie’s network include: developing and monitoring the Maggie’s evidence based cancer support programme, development and delivery of staff training, psychology supervision and professional leadership and the management of the Maggie’s Research Portfolio. She is an NHS Accredited Trainer in Advanced Communication, Accredited Mindfulness Teacher and has specialist expertise in the teaching and supervision of NHS Specialist Palliative Care professionals. Before joining Maggie’s in 2014, she was the Clinical Health Psychology Lead for NHS Dumfries and Galloway.

Affecting Care: Maggie’s Centres and the orchestration of architectural atmospheres, by Daryl Martin, University of York

Daryl presents research on the architecture of Maggie’s Centres. In particular, he explores the way in which their architectural atmospheres are spoken of by Maggie’s architects, and by staff members, volunteers and visitors to their sites. How these different groups discussed the atmospheres of their Maggie’s Centres is broken down into an analysis of, respectively, how building materials are used in these buildings; how colour and light are experienced in the buildings, and how the shape of the buildings in themselves affect the ways in which people use the spaces. These separate aspects of the buildings combine to become what can be described as the generators of architectural atmospheres. Daryl discuss how architects, staff members, volunteers and visitors alike translated their intuition of intangible atmospheres into a recognition of architectural qualities, and linked these to questions of care.

Daryl Martin lectures in the Department of Sociology at the University of York, where he also co-directs the Centre for Urban Research (CURB). His interests lie at the intersections of architecture, embodiment and health, and he has worked most recently on research projects on the design of residential settings for later life and clinical spaces in the context of infection control.

The seminar takes place on Nov 29, 1:30-3:30 pm, in the Arenberg castle in Heverlee, room KAST 00.29. Participation is free. If you have any questions regarding access, feel free to ask by email to Ann Heylighen or phone at 016 321741.

The seminar is supported by Fonds Suzanne Duchesne and Kom op tegen Kanker, and by the Arenberg Doctoral School.

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