Designs for Palliative Care

Digital concept render

Portable designs to temporarily convert subacute hospital rooms into palliative care rooms.


  • Dr Nyein Aung
    Monash Art, Design and Architecture
  • Dr Thinn Thinn Khine
    Professor Barbara Workman
    Dr Hanmei Pan
    Monash Health / MONARC (Monash Ageing Research Center), Monash University

Partner organisations

  • Monash Health
  • Creative Victoria

Funded by

  • Creative Victoria Creator’s Fund

This project is a powerful example of the ways design and creative thinking can be utilised to help tackle challenges across the community and in a range of industries.

Martin Foley MP, Minister for Creative Industries

In 2016 there were 77,369 palliative care (pal-care) related hospitalisations in Australia. Australia has 673 public acute hospitals, but only 133 have dedicated hospice units - about a third of which are located in NSW. Average length of stay for pal-care patients is 10.7 days, compared to 5.6 days for other hospitalisations. Due to this lasting mismatch in demand and supply, in 2011, only 34% of palliative patients received care in a designated pal-care room, while 27% were managed in acute or subacute hospital rooms.

The proposed design concepts can fulfil a lasting need with the rapid and temporary conversion of subacute hospital rooms into pal-care rooms. Consisting of a guest bed that folds out of a cabinet and a digital connectivity module, the system allows the palliative care patient to have family stay overnight and allows for the personalisation of the hospital room.

The digital connectivity module can be used to display iPads or electronic communications devices, enabling patients to digitally spend time with family, beyond the hospital.

Read more about the project at Monash Lens.