The built environment

The ‘Spaces of opportunity’ theme is about how people move through a service - quite literally, in the case of entrance ways, rooms and corridors - and more metaphorically, in the networks, pathways and 'service eco-systems' that we create, to come to any service by, and to move on to.

*NB: this page is an excerpt from 'The Book of PIE', one of the 'Other writings' : HERE


The built environment

We have moved on a long way from simply looking simply at the physical condition, up-keep and repair, of a building.

That is, originally, when suggesting the term PIE, we had spoken of the built environment, though we had included in that its ‘social spaces ‘ – meaning by that, that it is not just the nature and physical condition of the buildings we use, but also the messages it conveys; and all the opportunities that the design and layout of the building offers for establishing a better relationship with the users.

Signage; colour; sound; reception and other shared areas, corridors, and more obviously ‘social’ spaces such as dining rooms, TV rooms, and similar.

In the `Case studies’, we have a number of examples of changes that some services have made – often at almost no cost - that have made a noticeable difference, These may help to spark the imagination; and there are also a couple of very useful checklists that you will find in the Library that can point towards areas that might benefit from some attention. Plus in the case studies we have various examples of the use or adaptation of the buildings in a service.

But this did not really cover many of the other crucial relationships, and the spaces of one kind of another.

There also needs to be some consideration of the role that any one building may play in an integrated range of services.   This might include move-on accommodation, or for more long-term support; or Clubhouse or ‘hub and spoke’ or ‘core and cluster’ models, with their mixture of independence with flexibly available long-term support. Or it might include the deliberate co-location of several support services in one building or complex – not just for the convenience, but also because it can ease issues of confidentiality.


Meanwhile, there will be many other, more loosely connected services and surroundings that any service may consciously use. This area is huge, and hugely valuable, but outside the immediate control of the service. So, to allow a more specific focus on this, within the space of opportunity we have created a separate area for consideration of all this : the 'surroundings and networks' element.


Further background reading/listening/viewing

Psychological awareness ; HERE

  • Empathy and emotional intelligence : HERE
  • Approaches and techniques : HERE
  • Psychological models : HERE

Training and support : HERE

Learning and enquiry : HERE

  • Reflective practice : HERE
  • A culture of Enquiry : HERE
  • Sector engagement : HERE
  • Evidence- generating practice : HERE

Spaces of opportunity : HERE

  • The built environment : HERE
  • Networks and surroundings : HERE
  • Pathways, systems and system coherence : HERE

The Three Rs : HERE

  • Rules and procedures : HERE
  • Roles and relationships : HERE
  • Responsiveness : HERE


Where are relationships in PIEs 2.0? : HERE

A lived experience view of PIEs : HERE

What's the Big Idea?  : HERE

From PIEs 1 to PIEs 2.0 : HERE

Will there be a PIEs 3? : HERE

Responsiveness : HERE


Well-being by design -  the questions you might ask : HERE

A checklist of Trauma informed Care principles in built environment design : HERE 

  • Trauma informed design (DRH follow up with illustrations) : HERE


The built environment and the safe couch : HERE

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