© 2015 Jeffrey Mansfield

"The Anti-Prototype: Why Community Health Requires Local Solutions," co-authored with Michael Murphy and Amie Shao, published in Architecture and Health: Guiding Principles for Practice, edited by Dina Battisto and Jacob Wilhelm, Routledge, 2019.

The chapter investigates the development of the architectural prototype, and traces its evolution through periods of colonialism, international development, and emergency response. While the prototype exists as a quick, cheap solution to challenges in global health, it does not fully account for the local context in which it is deployed. Community health must be rooted in the context of the people it serves, but the current delivery of global and public health is out of touch with communities they are intended to aid. The prototype presents a global systems approach to solving the problems of community health, but it has failed to be inclusive of local knowledge, to invest in local expertise, and to build local economies. These failures results in numerous issues affecting infrastructure and healthcare. This chapter confronts the prototypical format by rethinking the systems that have come to rely upon it. Success becomes driven by a notion of efficiency and health as a service that is bestowed. It is not enough to rely on nonspecific practices of healthcare that fail to incorporated locally-informed solutions; instead, this chapter explores the notion that preventative medicine requires preventative architecture through two case studies of MASS Design Group’s projects: the new Redemption Hospital in Caldwell, Liberia, and the African Center of Excellence in Infectious Disease in Ede, Nigeria.

Order the book from Routledge here.