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Building Designs that Promote Healing

Building Designs that Promote Healing

I recently read this blog about the healing potential of building design. In particular, I feel this is important to building design in planning the construction of hospitals and other medical facilities. Research demonstrates that medical facilities that are comfortable and calming and that are designed to reduce the likelihood of spreading infection actually result in better treatment outcomes for patients. It is a fascinating topic, and one that is often overlooked in conversations about effective healthcare.

Our physical environment is yet another aspect of our well-being whose importance we often underestimate. In the workplace and in many areas of life, we often tend to behave as if we are automatons. Many people work in cramped cubicles with no natural light source, sitting in uncomfortable chairs while hunched over computer screens every day.

We are not robots. To thrive, we must acknowledge our human needs. These include physical comfort, time for activities outside of work, the time and ability to prioritize relationships, and creative outlets. We cannot be stuffed into sterile hospital rooms or claustrophobic cubicles and be expected to prosper – and hopefully, as a society we are beginning to recognize that. This new emphasis on intelligently designed hospitals represents a cultural shift away from cold institutions and unforgiving workplaces.


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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.


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8:54PM PDT on Jun 16, 2013

Very interesting. Thank you.

9:22AM PST on Dec 15, 2012

So true

5:39PM PDT on Aug 19, 2012


11:25AM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

Thank you for sharing

7:37AM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

I think soothing colours play a large part.

5:49AM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

Thank you for your article and your appreciation of the importance of our surroundings on healing and well-being. I appreciate your link to my blog. I'm an architect and write about issues facing architects, and many of the posts deal with the impact of the environment on the people that use it. You can search topics like sustainability, healthcare and wellness to find other articles. I appreciate comments and suggestions for future posts as well.

9:38PM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

studies have been done to show that plants alleviate pain, and speed up recovery. They can and should be incorporated into healing designs in hospitals, grown behind glass if necessary, or hydroponically to avoid bacteria.

2:24AM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

I feel anxiety when I look ahead to that age when hospital visits may become more frequent. One regularly hears of people coming out of hospital having caught some sort of bug and then there seem to be many older people who go in for an operation and that's the last you hear from them. It's definitely best to aim to stay as healthy as possible.

5:02PM PDT on Jun 17, 2012


9:10AM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

To build a hospital designed only for the efficiency of the work staff is counter productive to healing. The work staff must be in good health, mentally, spiritually and physically to treat patients who need all those same areas healed.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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