Understanding stakeholder requirements on an NHS hospital project: application of semiotics-rooted theories.
Collinge, B. (2011) Understanding stakeholder requirements on an NHS hospital project: application of semiotics-rooted theories. In: 27th ARCOM annual conference, 5th-7th September, Bristol, UK, pp. 963-972.
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Hospitals represent complex and difficult contexts for AEC (architecture, engineering and construction) professionals to engage with due to their functional complexity and diversity of stakeholder interests (i.e. patient, visitor, medical specialist). Hospital designers need to take note of changing NHS policy contexts (e.g. the possible empowerment of general practitioners to shape services), technological advances in medical equipment design and the potential health needs of future generations. It is imperative for hospital designers and architects to align their processes and methodologies (e.g. briefing and requirements capture) to the needs and desires of their clients so that a medical facility design is produced which is truly aligned to the requirements of the hospital stakeholders. Semiotics, the “study” or “discipline” of signs aims to investigate the nature of signs (their inception, representation and meaning), whilst semiotics-rooted theories are concerned with investigating how meaning and understanding is mobilized between persons and between organisations. This paper details a semiotics-rooted research approach for investigating the interactions between hospital designers and stakeholders on a forthcoming NHS hospital project in the UK. A semiotics grounded study will potentially provide a deeper understanding of how meaning and understanding is established between hospital project stakeholders and construction professionals.