Creative Forms: Booklets by the Hospital Senses Collective

Victoria L Bates*, Rebecka E Fleetwood-Smith, Clare Hickman, Agnes Arnold-Forster, Allitt Marie, Barratt Harriet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article details the creation of a series of booklets designed to explore sensory encounters with hospitals and healthcare environments. The booklets were devised as a series of prompts or provocations, created to attend to and examine embodied, sensory encounters with health/care settings rather than to present research findings. Bringing together an expansive range of backgrounds and skill sets the booklets were created to sit within and beyond language through their design, form and content. Within this article we share the ways in which the works are deliberately unfinished and exploratory as this necessitates that those interacting with them create their own meanings and explore how they think and feel about health/care environments. The form and design promote a certain attentiveness and embodied engagement. For example, users must engage with the works carefully, gently turning and unfurling the fragile pages. This is further illustrated through qualitative insights collected from users of the booklets. Throughout this paper we argue for multiplicity in the ways in which we explore and present sensory-focused research. Our attention to multiplicity is supported not only through the design, form and content of the physical booklets but through the creative audio description, text and images created to complement and support these works. These are available online to ensure that our provocations are widely accessible. Within this paper we critique how a reliance on narrative form can limit the ways in which we engage with spatial, sensory and emotional concepts. Such concepts are by their very nature challenging to articulate and arguably require more-than-text-based approaches. We propose that embracing creative, exploratory and seemingly risky routes to examining and presenting such concepts is critical in expanding research.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbermedhum-2023-012638
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Humanities
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
These booklets were funded by the Wellcome Trust small grant: ‘Senses and Modern Health/care Environments: Exploring interdisciplinary and international opportunities' (218188/Z/19/Z). Much of the research contained here was also supported by the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship ‘Sensing Spaces of Healthcare: Rethinking the NHS Hospital’ (MR/S033793/1).

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.


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