What is the Purpose of Color in the Design of a Healthcare Facility?
I have been to a number of healthcare facilities recently and have been noticing the colors used inside these facilities. Some are bland and have a singularly-developed color palette, whereas others have a bolder use of colors and textures.
In wondering on this topic, I began to question if color was really the issue. It has not been significantly proven that one or another color will increase healing within a healthcare setting. Specific colors or textures have not been significantly proven more effective in a healthcare setting than others. So the question becomes why the predominant lack of colors and textures?
I am not sure of the answers others may give to their decisions but I have looked closely at this issue and know my answer. Color and textures can and should be used in a way to give patients and families hope and peace in their time of concern. In the moment health is a concern, we should all be given an atmosphere of comfort and home… and hope… and the possibility of a great future, not a sterile, clinical place that focuses us on our current concern and condition.
Color Brings Us Home
The issue of finishes in a healthcare environment do involve disease control, the transmission of infections, etc. But they must be addressed. I contend this can be done and still use spectacular colors and textures to calm and nurture us. To bring us home.
The colors and textures to be used are cultural and local to each of us. The feelings created by color are reflective of who we are and where we are from. Our senses and the influence of nature play a large part in how we see things as well. I would challenge our healthcare designers, and myself, to start with hope, and what the heart sees in completing our designs.
Let’s bring back a sense of place and locality and home and push back the coldness of disease. Let us hear color and feel joy in our healthcare environments. Let us elevate our experience through color and texture in healthcare settings to bring hope and healing to providers and patients.