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  4. Birth Space Design Grounded in Women’s Experiences of Giving Birth




Birth Space Design Grounded in Women’s Experiences of Giving Birth



Staff, Students, Alumni

The Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research at the School of Health Science, City, University of London welcomes you to our next research seminar.

This lunchtime seminar draws from my recent PhD ‘Towards a new architectural understanding of birth spaces grounded in women’s experiences of giving birth’. I share key findings to explain how birth space is experienced in multiple ways, depending on the venue, and discuss new spatial insights into maternity policy goals (choice, control, continuity of carer and personalised care). I introduce a new architectural design theory for how spaces are used – that birth spaces are ’prosumed’ and curated by women. Prosumed is the idea that something is ‘produced’ and ‘consumed’ at the same time. We will explore the strengths and challenges of current evidence-based design tools available to professionals and service user representatives and consider how well they align with a woman-centred approach to maternity care. I will conclude with the work of my current ESRC-funded fellowship: co-production of accessible media with service users and professionals to explain a new woman-centred understanding of birth spaces across hospital, birth centre and home settings (including birth in operating theatres); and practical recommendations to be applied to the design of birth spaces through transdisciplinary working practices.

Presenter: Dr Sarah Joyce

Sarah is a RIBA Chartered Architect and NCT-trained antenatal teacher. She completed her PhD at the University of Sheffield in 2018, co-supervised in architecture and midwifery. She is continuing her research as an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Leeds and as a member of the Leeds NHS Maternity Voices Partnership. She is passionate about woman-centered care, interdisciplinary co-production and the social value of architecture as appropriate evidence-informed means for shaping the future of maternity care.

A light lunch with refreshments will be available from 12noon, talk will start at 12:15pm. For further information please contact Verity Sullivan (

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When and where

12.00pm - 1.30pmMonday 3rd February 2020

MG26 Myddelton Street Building City, University of London 1 Myddelton Street London EC1R 1UW United Kingdom