Monthly Archives: December 2011

NEW: Links and Resources Page

I’ve added a Links and Resources section to the blog, accessible from the navigation bar at the top. It’s a mix of theory and practice, spanning the spectrum from papers on evidence based design, to architecture studios with inspiring work in the healthcare field, to non-profits that work to put art in hospitals. There are many, many more people out there doing important work in the field and by no means am I suggesting this creates a comprehensive directory. The page provides links to select few examples that I beleive exemplify best practices. If you have any suggestions for additional links, please send them my way.


ORL Clinic / Mal-Vi Architects

image © giorgio papadopoulos, mal-vi architects

Mal-Vi Architects created a warm, surprising, and professional interior for a 970 square foot  ORL clinic in Thessaloniki Greece. ORL stands for otorhinolaryngology in Greek, or, quite literally, “the study of ear and throat.” It’s safe to assume that this particular practice likely has a focus on the ear given the presence of a prominent “acoustic wave” partition. From the Mal-Vi’s website:

Given the fact that the client was a newly arrived surgeon in Thessaloniki (Greece), we were handed the task of creating a memorable office space, providing an experience as distant as possible from the usual image one associates with a visit to a doctor’s studio. In order to separate the medic’s office and exam room from the reception space and waiting room, a flexible partition was designed. The partition incorporates the reception desk, as well as the exam room entrance, while its bulging shape—deriving from the form of an acoustic wave, is a reference to the practitioner’s field of specialty.

The text on the waiting room walls below is the Hippocratic oath (in Greek, naturally). The space is sleek, modern, and successfully looks nothing like a traditional doctor’s office. The lighting design is by local lighting company Reflectlights, and the green space design is by VitaVerde.

image © giorgio papadopoulos, mal-vi architects

image © giorgio papadopoulos, mal-vi architects

(via Designboom)

Mathieu Lehanneur’s “Tomorrow Is Another Day”

French industrial designer Mathieu Lehanneur has made a splash on the blogs this week with his thoughtful techno-jewel “Tomorrow Is Another Day” installation, conceived for a palliative care unit at a hospital in Paris.  From Lehanneur’s website:

Originally intended for the Palliative Care Unit of the Diaconesses / Croix-Saint-Simon Hospital Group, this device eludes the course of time by offering everyone the opportunity to see tomorrow’s sky. Conceived from weather information gathered in real time on the Internet, the luminous – atmospheric and impressionist – image of this sky is diffused through the network of a honeycomb structure, appearing both like a sculpture and a celestial globe.

It’s theoretically sophisticated, with questions of “uncertainty, ineluctability and spirituality” abounding, but it’s also a tranquil little gem that one can gaze at without even knowing it’s acting as a portal to an abstracted version of tomorrow’s sky. The work will be available as a limited edition through the Carpenters Workshop Gallery. It is unclear if the work was ever installed in the hospital.

(via Fast Company’s Co.Design)

Design Bugs Out

Bedside cabinet by Kinneir Dufort

Patient chair by Pearson Lloyd

Commode by Pearson Lloyd

Overbed table by Hollington

The above images are the results of a UK hospital furniture design competition that started in August of 2008 and have recently been analyzed and finalized. The goal was to challenge the historic features of hospital furniture and show how its design can enhance effective cleaning and help to tackle Healthcare Associated Infections. The Design Bugs Out website introduces the project:

The Department of Health, the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency and the Design Council challenged the UK’s design and manufacturing community to design and prototype new hospital furniture and equipment that will help to reduce Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs). If hospital equipment and furniture is designed to be easy to clean and easy to use, it will stay cleaner — and therefore help reduce the risk of infection.

Out of an initial 51 design possibilities, 11 products were developed and considered, and only 4 were tested for mass production.  After extensive user testing in 8 hospitals throughout the UK, each of the above designs are will soon be available for purchase by hospitals in the NHS Supply Chain catalogue online. Patient approval rates were impressive, as per the Daily Echo, and the following percents of caretakers, patients, and visitors gave the thumbs up to the new designs:

Bedside cabinet by Kinneir Dufort: 68% patients, 75% visitors, 70% staff

Patient chair by Pearson Lloyd: 91% patients, 88% visitors, 68% staff

Commode by Pearson Lloyd: 90% patients, 84% visitors, 78% staff

Overbed table by Hollington: 91% patients, 87% visitors, 72% staff

The entire report by the Department of Health can be downloaded in a PDF here. It’s an extremely well thought out study and well worth reading if you have the time.

Old Designs Vs. New Designs