Jacobs Medical Center CafeteriaOur co-director of healthcare interiors, Jocelyn Stroupe, contributes to a new article from Healthcare Design, titled “Making Bold Moves In Healthcare Aesthetics.” The piece focuses on how the aesthetics of healthcare facilities have evolved significantly in recent years, as owners look to interior design as yet another way to differentiate themselves in the competitive landscape.

In addition to Jocelyn’s insights, several CannonDesign projects were also featured in the series, including UC San Diego Health, Jacobs Medical Center, University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery Center, and Nantucket Cottage Hospital.

The full article can be read online. Below are key excerpts:

On Color
Stroupe says introducing more color comes with plenty of benefits, too — if done properly. “Color can enhance the activity within a space, create a positive distraction, and promote wayfinding,” she says, adding that certain colors, such as red, may have negative associations and should be carefully considered. Additionally, some colored surfaces, particularly walls, may affect the appearance of people’s skin tones, making it difficult for staff to assess a patient’s condition. For these reasons, neutral and soothing tones are still preferred for patient rooms.

On Regional influences
Identifying an ideal aesthetic and branding approach should also be influenced by the patient population and regions being served, as well as a healthcare organization’s market objectives. “A facility in Arizona will be quite different than one located in New England due to the local culture,” says Stroupe.

On Honesty in Healthcare
Overall, Stroupe says that, regardless of location, the focus is no longer on attempting to disguise the healthcare components of a project but instead to introduce an aesthetic that best supports the organization and its users. “In the past, we sought to hide medical devices and used quite a bit of embellishment in an attempt to make the hospital look like a hotel or a home,” she says. “[Today], there seems to be a greater honesty about healthcare.”

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