Architecture student train of thoughts I:
This may be a rough start to an article due to the images of hospital rooms and gloomy waiting areas above. However, this is exactly why I chose hospitals for this month’s article. I can’t help but wonder why hospitals and medical centers have to look the way they do. Why do they possess negative connotations in our minds when in fact they are “good” places? They help us heal, they treat our loved ones, and they promote second chances. Therefore, I present to you the many questions I have and my train of thoughts about hospitals.
As an architecture student , I truly believe in the power of architecture and the power it possesses to enhance or worsen a person’s experience (whether a person is aware of it or not). In the general case of hospitals, the surrounding environment and design look almost scared of the patients and their illnesses, not willing to interact with patients, or welcome them in any way. So how do we expect patients to get better or trust medical staff when all these machines and medical equipment are being openly and boldly displayed in front confused and flustered patients? The machines and medical equipment can be hidden yet still accessible when needed without reminding patients of their illness and their situation.
Why can’t the waiting areas of hospitals soothe the worried parents and friends, why can’t it distract them from their worries, ease patients’ pain, welcome them, reassure them, instead of offering a machine-like and cold atmosphere.
Why do we have to scare children with hospitals? Why can’t hospitals welcome children with play areas and gentle gestures of reassurance? Why do children have to be dragged to be taken to the doctor when the doctor’s room can be a playground and the checkup happens in between games?
Now you may say this is applicable for patients who stay in the hospital but it may not be necessary for those who go for regular checkups or emergency situations. On the other hand, why do we comprise in the case of hospitals whereas we tend to be very picky about restaurants and their facilities and spaces? The emergency section has agitated and startled patients, therefore, the last thing they need is a white room with only equipment and a thin curtain when they already feel vulnerable. The tiny emergency room represents the patients’ state instead of displaying the abilities of the hospital and doctors to treat patients.
On the other hand, I shall now leave you on a positive note with snaps of different hospitals that display how hospitals are ought to be but before that I would like to address some interesting bits and bobs added by another Pafta writer, Serra Koz. (thank you Serra!)
Interior Architecture student train of thoughts I:
Have you ever take a deep breath in a hospital and smell something different? Or have you ever wonder what is behind the places where patients accommodate? Have you ever taken into consideration how people wait on the line in hospitals or how they can reach emergency rooms fast and safe?
In fact, designers should not only consider patients but also safety factors, medical staff, etc. As an interior architecture student, the way we organize a place is different from an architecture student where we are required to consider not only the building as a mass but also the psychology of users, selected materials, colors, light, circulation, and function as well.
In the past, the design of hospitals was not very effective in terms of impacts on patients. The smell of the hospitals is like a detergent. The reason why the smell of the hospital is changed in today is because of the material selection. However, thanks to the advanced technology, the developments appeared in the field of materials. Flooring of the hospitals for example is epoxy/PVC which is anti-bacterial, whereas granite or marble were used in the past.
Moreover, the color selection makes a difference in how people perceive a space. Each and every color has a different meaning and has a different impact on people. For example, yellow means happiness and energy; however, designers should not over-use yellow color in the places where the newborns are accommodating because it makes newborn to become in a stress and then cry. Another example is red color. Red means energy and love. If you use the red color in the cardiology, most probably the patient’s blood pressure becomes high, which is not good for their health.