Thursday, August 18, 2011

KSA on Healthcare Design:

You’re a healthcare interior designer?... What do you do?

The adage “form follows function” takes on a special meaning when the function in question is intimately intertwined with an individual’s health and well-being.  Healthcare interior designers have a passion for creating spaces that aid in the healing process, and are key instigators in changing and improving that process.

Think about the last healthcare environment you visited. Was it a waiting room, an exam room or another type of space?  Were you or a loved one the patient?  How did it make you feel? 

Commonly, people describe healthcare interiors as dreadful spaces. Healthcare designers strive to alleviate this stigma by creating environments that are both comforting and healing to patients, family and staff. Creating these functional, well-designed spaces is a delicate exercise. Design decisions can easily impact the patient’s healing process and physical and mental well-being, in either a negative or positive way.

The challenges and responsibilities of a healthcare designer vary.  These responsibilities include the process of applying color psychology, maintaining an understanding of the mechanics of healthcare furniture, fixtures and equipment, while constantly prioritizing infection control and disease prevention.  Most importantly, these designers are consistently engaging in evidence based design methodologies and are constantly reviewing implemented design solutions.

Healthcare designers are passionate about creating a built environment that promotes healing.

Go back to the last healthcare environment you visited.  What would have made it better for you?  How could it have been more healing or inspirational? We would love to hear and share your thoughts!

Ruth Deibler, ASID, LEED AP BD+C

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