Xili LiFollow


Mental, physical and social health are the interwoven strands of well-being for all individuals’ lives. Mental health, in particular, is crucial to the overall robustness of humans, as it enables individuals to realize their abilities, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively, and contribute to their communities. Unfortunately, mental disorders have suffered the stigma of disgrace. Although the world has long struggled to understand, identify, and treat mental illnesses, the quality of relative facilities and treatments lags far behind other medical fields. The conditions of mental healthcare facilities are especially inadequate in developing countries, like China.

The author’s direct personal experience informs this thesis. Diagnosed with a major depressive disorder, she was institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital in China for one month. She compares it to prison for criminals rather than a hospital for treating patients with illnesses. As a designer, the author sees an opportunity to improve the living conditions and promote a sustainable and therapeutic experience for psychiatric patients through architecture.

This thesis conducts a series of literature review, background research, and interviews regarding the architectural design practices of psychiatric hospitals including China. It also summarizes the findings and makes recommendations on sixteen design practices towards enhancing life for psychiatric patients of China.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Psychiatric hospitals--China--Design and construction; Hospital architecture--Psychological aspects

Publication Date

Fall 2018

Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Architecture (M.Arch.)

Department, Program, or Center

Architecture (GIS)


Giovanna Potesta

Advisor/Committee Member

Jules Chiavaroli

Advisor/Committee Member

Roger Chen


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes