Displaying items by tag: healthcare design


There's a crossover occurring between all types of design; hospitality, multi-family, workplace, retail and healthcare.  The vocabulary of  "social distancing" in the workplace and "touchless" fixtures in hospitality and multi-housing are now commonplace.  But do you know the most appropriate way to conquer the new "safe" requirements in design?  

We have all experienced social distancing with lines drawn on the floor and numbers indicating how far apart to stand in the grocery line or the post office cue.  We've seen the plexiglass shields between us and the cashiers.  Restaurants are opening at half capacity and streets are being closed to allow outdoor dining options.  We're worried about going back to work in an office where employees are barely 36" apart typically.  We would rather sit outside and work at our laptops on a picnic blanket than expose ourselves to Covid in the coming months. Working from home is certainly an option and may be the first choice solution.

But whether at home, at the office, or at a food venue, biophilia is an absolute necessity in design now.  If for nothing else, for the addition of exterior spaces to relax and extend environments.  There will be a need to have "mask-off" time and the best areas to accomplish that is in a green landscape. 

I see a need for healthcare experts to join teams in all modes of design delivery.  A designer with healthcare experience can take an intense look into what the steps are to secure infection control in  hospitality, multi-family, workplace, and retail as well as healthcare.  This new position may be called a "hygiene manager" or "health maintenance officer."  

Whatever the term, the need is real.  If we truly care about our staff and our neighbors, we need to consult with those who know how to design to mitigate the risks.


Published in Design
Wednesday, 04 March 2020 22:01

Color in 2030

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For the first time in the history of the United States, "Boomers" will out number children by the year 2030. Those under the age of 18 will be the lesser demographic to those over 65. Should we adjust our hospital color palettes to suite this group of adults?

Accommodating the changing feature customer in healthcare environments will be tricky. I am potentially suggesting that we switch to color that the aging eyes will perceive. There are so many factors to consider; the presence of cataracts, the yellowing of color perception with dementia, and the blurred close vision of presbyopia, to name a few.

Let's see, there could be evidence to design with pops of color to signal changes in wall surfaces. There are also schools of thought to create a black, white, and grey world to make certain we appeal to all people with all conditions. Then there's the contradictory use of red in a healthcare setting. Let's use it, because this color will visually appear more muted to this crowd! More recently, there is the use of the blue color spectrum, now coupled with LED lighting. Does skin tone actually change under these lighting conditions? Perhaps we have pushed the envelope of possibilities far enough

Let's remember that no two people are alike. I may not see the same hue that you see, but I can appreciate it. I am totally sure that my color perception will never be completely gone! A space devoid of color will bore me to tears. Let's not jump the gun to delete color in the foreseeable future. Let's agree to evolve color into the best application as designers have always done and thereby appeal to all generations.

After all, the most successful spaces and those with color make terrific black and white photos.

Published in Design
Friday, 19 April 2019 19:09

Modularity in Healthcare

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As the over 65 population ages, the demand for healthcare expands. Owners and operators of hospitals are struggling to keep up. Medical office buildings are in short supply in many areas of the US and as a result, modular buildings are becoming a quick and easy solution.

I remember when modular workstations were a new idea in office furnishings. It was a much-needed solution to the lack of space and the rising costs of leasing. I liken this to the need for affordable and fast options for medical office space. Suburban sites and convenient access to major hospital brands close to home dictate a need for modularity.

Just like the hospital staff designs protocols and standards of care, I believe standards for the physical modularity of the space are needed. By this I mean prefabricated parts and pieces assembled on site to meet a particular building size and configuration.

As communities grow, constituents demand access to care within the limits of their geographical area. The scale of the facility is based on how many patients are seen and processed. It may sounds like a factory, but truthfully, it is reality to think in terms of numbers and shear accessibility. Deficiencies in service areas can be addressed by telehealth. If a modular building location begins to see the need for a service such as orthopedics or rheumatology that is not currently offered, then a remote team is utilized by a telehealth platform.

Just as modular workstations provide more efficient square footage for planning people in a work space, prefabricated buildings afford more people access to healthcare within their day to day domains. This is quicker for the patient and by spending less than the cost of brick and mortar, hospitals and owners save on the physical building cost.

Published in Healthcare