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Exploring liminality in the co-design of rehabilitation environments: the case of one acute stroke unit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Sara Donetto, Fiona Jones, David Clarke, Geoffrey C Cloud, Karolina Gombert-Waldron, Ruth Harris, Alastair Macdonald, Christopher McKevitt, Glenn Robert

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
JournalHealth and Place
Early online date10 Nov 2021
Accepted/In press8 Oct 2021
E-pub ahead of print10 Nov 2021


  • Liminality paper_revised 300821

    Liminality_paper_revised_300821.docx, 2.31 MB, application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document

    Uploaded date:08 Oct 2021

    Version:Accepted author manuscript

  • Donetto2021liminality

    Donetto2021liminality.pdf, 4.02 MB, application/pdf

    Uploaded date:10 Nov 2021

    Version:Final published version

    Licence:CC BY-NC-ND

King's Authors


This paper describes an Experience-based Co-design (EBCD) project that aimed to increase patient activity within an acute stroke unit. We apply the concept of liminality to explore ways in which the EBCD process, a form of Participatory Action Research, may dilute or even dissolve social hierarchies and challenge assumptions about practices and constraints in this care setting, thereby opening up possibilities for transformation that enhances the therapeutic value of the space for patients and care providers alike. By occasioning a liminal phase of possibility for change, the work of one co-design group explored in detail here suggests that, in this process, the sociomaterial interactions involving patients, family members, staff, and the physical space are refashioned and re-inscribed in transformed ‘emplaced’ relationships of care.

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