Monday, February 4, 2013

Designing for calm

This article is about the often overlooked aspects of mental health facilities. Every mental health facility houses people who are vulnerable to violent outbursts. This article looks into the effect that the architecture of the spaces housing these people has on their mental state. Usually architecture at these facilities is about security but that design can be counter productive to helping the people inside. Natural light, sound absorbing surfaces, and open spaces provide patients with an environment much more conducive to recovery. These facilities need to be designed to reduce stress. Ostra hospital in Gothenburg implemented nine of ten of these stress reducing feature into their design and have seen a twenty percent drop in  violent outbursts resulting in sedation.

I was very interested in the article's reference to the power of design and its real- tangible effect on vulnerable people. As an industrial design student this article reinforces what we are taught, every detail of a design can greatly change how users interact and feel.

Designing for Calm

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