Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Hospital space interpreted according to Heidegger’s concepts of care and dwelling
  1. Hye Youn Park1,2
  1. 1 Institute of Hybrid Culture, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea (the Republic of)
  2. 2 Tissue Bank, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea (the Republic of)
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hye Youn Park, Institute of Hybrid Culture, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea (the Republic of); graceseed{at}


Modern hospitals have succeeded in saving humans from numerous diseases owing to the rapid development of medical technology. However, modern medical science, combined with advanced technology, has developed a strong tendency to view human beings as mere targets of restoration and repair, with modern hospitals characterised as spaces centred on technology-focused treatment. This results in a situation where human beings are reduced to objects and alienated. This study, integrating Heidegger’s concepts of dwelling and care, contends that ‘care’ is a vital concept in terms of the fundamental spatiality of hospitals and needs to be restored as the key guiding principle affecting hospital space. The loss of the caring spirit in the development of modern hospitals affects how hospitals are conceived, built and managed, as well as how human experiences within hospitals are dealt with or allowed for appropriately. This study offers critical reflection on how future planning of hospital spaces can be better conducted to ensure that human experiences, and the care needed to appropriately value such experiences, are adequately expressed, and the complexity of human existence is suitably considered.

  • Medical humanities
  • philosophy of medicine/health care

Data availability statement

No data are available.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Data availability statement

No data are available.

View Full Text


  • Contributors HYP was responsible for: study conception and design, data collection, analysis and interpretation of results, and manuscript preparation.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.