ny times on new hospital design

on may 18th, the new york times published one of it’s first stories looking specificity at trends driven by research in the field of medical design, “health outcomes driving new hospital design.” author carol ann campbell takes a serious look at the importance of single-patient rooms, and mentions a mounting interest in evidence based design that suggests empirically that hospital design is directly related to the healing process. the above illustration of a single patient room in michigan accompanies the article, and i absolutely love the daybed.

last week’s piece is a slightly more research-oriented rehash of a similar story ran in 2004 called “where the healing touch starts with hospital design” which started with a basic hypothesis that the environment at a hospital effects the patient’s treatment (yes) and then lunges into a description of rikshospitalet hospital in norway, never to return to theory. back in 2000, if a hospital was utilizing design to make patients more comfortable it was grouped under the headline of “hospitals are discovering their inner spa” with the implication that good medical design was something new-agey or absurdly luxurious. i’m curious about what the times’ next hospital-design headline might be and if this shift from treating it as an extraneous element of a machine driven hospital, or a legitimate medical concern with very real effects on patients.

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