Stine Louring Nielsen, Design Anthropologist: On healing architecture & how to happily swim in the blended waters of anthropology/architecture/design – The Human Show Podcast 41






Stine Louring Nielsen is a trained anthropologist, specialised in the intersection of space, health and atmosphere and currently a PhD Fellow at Aalborg University in Copenhagen, investigating the ambiance potential of coloured illuminations in healthcare environments. For over a decade, Stine has been working together with architects, designers and healthcare professionals on research- and design projects of how the built environment can support healing and well-being for patients, relatives and caretakers. She has presented her work at scientific conferences, architect agencies, health conferences, art institutions and light associations on topics of the potentials of healing architecture, coloured illuminations in healthcare environments, art in hospitals, colour and culture, healthy atmospheres, design anthropology and the concept of home in healthcare institutions.

In today’s episode we talk to Stine about healing architecture, space, sensorics and home making; the manner in which she reconciled her interests in academia and the applied sector through the topic of healing architecture and a successful partnership with the fields of design and architecture; her way into a multidisciplinary PhD and how she built it blending anthropology with 2 other disciplines; her experience in understanding the potential of coloured illumination in healthcare environments and the ethical concerns regarding application of results; her advice to those contemplating a similar blended path.

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Mentioned in Podcast:

  • Architecture companies Stine worked for:
  • Project on potential of art in hospitals – 2 years (figurative and abstract art in hospitals and how patients experienced art in spaces)
  • Aalborg university
  • Why the World needs Anthropology Conference
  • Study – blue illumination in Japan to reduce suicide rates
    • Matsubayashi, Tetsuya, et al. “Does the Installation of Blue Lights on Train Platforms Prevent Suicide? A before-and-after Observational Study from Japan.” Journal of Affective Disorders, vol. 147, no. 1–3, Elsevier, 2013, pp. 385–88, doi:10.1016/j.jad.2012.08.018. (link to research on the topic)


Stine’s work:

The Ambiance Potential of Coloured Illuminations in Healthcare Environments

The Potential of Art in Hospitals


  • Nielsen, Stine Louring, Friberg, Carsten and Hansen, Ellen Kathrine (in press). The Ambience Potential of Coloured Illuminations in Architecture. In: Chelkoff, Grégoire (ed.). Ambiances – International Journal of the Sensory Environment, Architecture and Urban Space. Special Issue (4): Experimenting on ambiance with architecture.


  • Nielsen, Stine Louring, & Mullins, Michael (2017). Beyond the dichotomy of figurative and abstract art in hospitals: The potential of visual art as a generator of well-being. ARCH17, 1–10.


  • Nielsen, Stine Louring, Fich, Lars Brorson, Roessler, Kirsten Kaya, & Mullins, Michael (2017). How do patients actually use and experience art in hospitals? The significance of interaction. A user-oriented experimental case study. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being, 1–28.


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