DR Rebecca McLaughlan

DR Rebecca McLaughlan


  • Architecture and Wellbeing
  • Architecture as media
  • Asylums, Mental Hospital Design
  • General Hospital Design, Social Housing



  • Rebecca’s doctoral research investigated the relationship between mental hospital architecture and the treatment of mental illness in New Zealand; it employed architecture as vehicle for expanding our existing understanding of attitudes toward mental illness (1878 – 1972). Titled “One Dose of Architecture, Taken Daily,” this research was inspired by the nineteenth century theory that the careful articulation of architecture and landscape could aid the restoration of sanity. Rebecca’s current research interests include how the built environment can support wellbeing within hospital settings, social housing and public space. She is engaged as a Research Fellow on the ARC-linkage project “Designing for Wellbeing: Realising the Benefits for Patients through Best Practice Hospital Design.” Rebecca is a New Zealand Registered Architect with experience in both high-end and social housing. She has recently presented papers at the University of Portland, Edinburgh University and the University of Oxford. She was awarded a Postgraduate Research Excellence Award from Victoria University (Wellington) in 2012 and an Early Career Researcher Project Grant from the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, this year.



Member of

  • Society of Architectural Historians Australia & New Zealand. Member 2015 -
  • New Zealand Institute of Architects. Architect Member 2008 -
  • New Zealand Registered Architects Board. Registered Architect 2008 -


Selected publications



Education and training

  • PhD (Arch), Victoria University of Wellington 2014
  • PhD, Victoria University of Wellington 2014
  • B.Arch, University of Auckland 2004
  • B.AS, University of Auckland 2002

Awards and honors

  • Early Career Researcher Grant, University of Melbourne, 2016
  • Strategic Research Grants, 2012 & 2103, Victoria University of Welllington, 2013
  • Post Graduate Research Excellence Award, Victoria University of Welllington, 2012
  • Postgraduate Scholarship, Kathleen Stewart Trust, 2011
  • Doctoral and Doctoral Submission Scholarships, Victoria University of Welllington, 2010