Re-thinking shared spaces - How common spaces in nursing homes can be designed to contribute to a good everyday life

In this project, we explore how the living environments in nursing homes can be designed to support care and a pleasant everyday life together with residents, relatives and nursing home staff.

The significance of the living environment for how everyday life is shaped and experienced by people in nursing homes has received increasing attention in recent decades. Still, there is a lack of knowledge that is based on a perspective that regards the environment as an integral part of everyday life. In this project, we start from a broad understanding of the living environment that includes for example; care practices, everyday activities, objects, buildings, organization and legislation.

The project consists of several studies where we use ethnographic and participatory approaches to develop knowledge about how the living environment in nursing homes can contribute to a good and satisfying everyday life. The methods we use take the complexity of everyday life into account and generate knowledge that can be applied at different levels - from the ongoing everyday life in nursing homes to the planning of new housing. In the project, we also develop knowledge about participatory methods as a tool for change in organisations that interact with people in their everyday life.

Research leader

Lena Rosenberg

Senior lecturer


Lena Borell, professor, NVS, Karolinska Institutet

Karin Johansson, lecturer, NVS, Karolinska Institutet

Margarita Mondaca, lecturer, NVS, Karolinska Institutet

Doctoral student

Marianne Palmgren


FORTE (Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare)

The Kamprad Family Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Research and Charity

Strategic Research Area Health Care Science (SFO-V)

Research school in Health Care Science at Karolinska Institutet


Johansson, K., Borell, L., & Rosenberg, L. (2020). Qualities of the environment that support a sense of home and belonging in nursing homes for older people. Ageing and Society, 1-22.


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