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Enabling care: Maggie’s Centres and the affordance of hope

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Publication details

JournalHealth & place
DateAccepted/In press - 25 Jan 2022
Original languageEnglish


This paper explores the role of architecture in the affordance of hope for people with cancer. Specifically, it revisits ‘enabling places’ debates to understand the influence of spatial design in the experience of cancer care. Combining interviews and focus group data from two separate studies of visitors, volunteers, and staff members of Maggie’s Centres, an organisation providing cancer support in the UK and internationally, the paper investigates the emotional power of their buildings. In particular, we explore how Maggie’s Centre buildings provided material, social, and affective resources for their users. We argue that Maggie’s Centres help its visitors to orient themselves to their changing lives and uncertain futures in thoughtful ways and, thus, their buildings offer examples of the ‘taking place’ of hope.

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    Research areas

  • Maggie's Centres, Healthcare architecture, Enabling places, Cancer care, Hope

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