PhD Networks of Care: The Architecture of Future Healthcare Environments – Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) – Delft

  • Delft

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

In a world increasingly driven by data, healthcare facilities are undergoing profound changes, embracing new technologies to reinvent how they deliver acute care and interact with other healthcare providers. This shift enables healthcare institutions to focus on their core competencies while delegating non-essential tasks to specialized entities. As wearables and sensor networks become more prevalent, the traditional model of hospitals as standalone care providers is evolving into a broader, interconnected network that integrates personal wearables, smart home systems, and other healthcare technologies.

While these data technologies primarily focus on the human body, the evolution of healthcare environments must also be rooted in innovative architectural design. For instance, integrating advanced sensor networks not only enhances operational efficiency but also significantly improves the overall patient experience by creating more responsive and human-centered environments. In this dynamic landscape, the role of architecture is more critical than ever, adapting to current needs while anticipating future shifts.

The Design, Data, and Society Group at the Department of Architecture at TU Delft invites applications for a fully funded PhD position focused on the architectural aspects of this new era of connected care. This project will critically reflect and explore the relation between design, artificial intelligence and data infrastructure in healthcare architecture.

Research Question:

  • How can future healthcare environments be designed to be flexible and adaptable, accommodating rapid changes in medical technology and patient care practices?
  • What role can virtual and augmented reality play in the future design of healthcare facilities, and how might these technologies influence patient and staff experiences?
  • How has the evolution of healthcare architecture reflected broader cultural and technological shifts, and how can contemporary design integrate and respect this historical legacy?
  • How can architectural design incorporate anthropological insights into patient behavior and interaction to create environments that truly reflect and enhance the patient experience?
  • In the convergence of digital and physical healthcare spaces, how can architecture help mediate and enhance the ethical dimensions of care, particularly concerning patient autonomy and consent in an increasingly monitored environment?
  • Research Aims:

  • To study the architectural and cultural history of healthcare to understand the transition from analogue to data-driven technologies, focusing on how these shifts have impacted the design of healthcare spaces and the nature of care itself.
  • To examine the interplay between healthcare environments and urban networks at various scales— from individual bodies and building structures to the broader urban landscape—to understand how healthcare facilities integrate into cities.
  • To critically evaluate the reciprocal influence of design and healthcare work, analyzing how architecture affects care delivery and how healthcare practices, in turn, shape architectural design.
  • Specifications

  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • Delft
  • Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


    You have:

  • Completed a MSc degree in Architecture or another related built-environment discipline;
  • Interest or experience in healthcare Architecture and healthcare technology;
  • Previous research experience in a transdisciplinary setting;
  • The ability to work collaboratively with others (students, faculty, and staff) to create a supportive research and learning environment.
  • Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the .

    Conditions of employment

    Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

    Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

    Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

    The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. 

    For international applicants, TU Delft has the . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.


    Delft University of Technology

    Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

    At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core and we actively to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

    Challenge. Change. Impact!


    Faculty Architecture & the Built Environment

    The Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment has a leading role in education and research worldwide. The driving force behind the faculty’s success is its robust research profile combined with the energy and creativity of its student body and academic community. It is buzzing with energy from early in the morning until late at night, with four thousand people studying, working, designing, conducting research and acquiring and disseminating knowledge. Our faculty has a strong focus on ‘design-oriented research’, which has given it a top position in world rankings.

    Staff and students are working to improve the built environment with the help of a broad set of disciplines, including architectural design, urban planning, building technology, social sciences, process management, and geo-information science. The faculty works closely with other faculties, universities, private parties, and the public sector, and has an extensive network in the Netherlands as well as internationally.

    Click to go to the website of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built

    Lees hier meer