Biophilic Design in Healthcare

My favorite Lola Show from this week was learning community four: Biophilic Design.
Their first point was that using natural materials in nature benefits the healthcare patient’s way of life. Sky Factory Sky Light helps to calm patients that have limited mobility whether during an MRI or in general. However, this can backfire when you use synthetic materials that look like natural materials and people are then disappointed when they touch it and realize it is fake. This is a struggle though, because it is so crucial in a healthcare environment to have materials that are easy to clean.
The second one was about healing gardens. Healing Gardens are not a revolutionary idea, people have been using these in historic hospitals dating back to the Victorian Era. When implemented in hospitals, healthcare, and retirement home settings, healing gardens can be incredibly beneficial to the patients that experience nature. It is a mentally healing and restorative process. It is made more complicated when attempting to design and accommodate for a wide range of patients. But it is not impossible. This requires a wider range of ideas to be present in the garden such as a walking path, a sitting area, an element of privacy an body of water, and some interactive elements.

The third topic was about trying to make waiting areas less stressful for patients and their family. Waiting areas in hospitals are both physically and mentally draining. There is also a lack of privacy, which is needed when a doctor may give the patients family some emotionally straining news. This causes people to react in both stressful and irrational ways. With the Healthcare Healing Environment, a TV screen is provided that shows beautiful natural scenes which have been proven to calm people down both physically and mentally (heart rate and blood pressure).

The last one was about the calming element of water. By integrating water into waiting room areas you are receiving the same calming effect. However, there is a downside to this, because using fountains and the like incorrectly could unintentionally spread bacteria and disease. 

In general, by integrating biomorphic design concepts, both psychological and physiological healing is promoted. And more hospitals and healthcare places should take advantage of that.

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