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Does Design Impact on Wellbeing?

We surveyed expert BCFA members working in the Healthcare and Care Home sector, to get the inside view on the impact of design and discuss the trends and challenges facing this sector. 

We focus on the question of design impacting wellbeing, and reach out to BCFA members, Protocol, Skopos, Solk, and Bridge Contract Interiors. 

SKOPOS- Lynne Wade and Tersa Barber

Design is a fundamental element when promoting wellbeing within the care and healthcare sector. Colour and design play an important part in setting a mood and stimulating positive thought. Skopos provide a bespoke design service which is often utilised by the healthcare sector to incorporate unique imagery into soft furnishings. We have included illustrative prints depicting elements such as beach huts and seaside charms on hospital cuble panels in childrens wards, images of local landmarks in adult wards plus many other designs which link to a happy memory or familiar place or icon, providing a talking point and area of interest away from the medical issues. In care home facilities, interior design is vital. The home is often a permanent residence. In this environment design can uplift, calm and reinvigorate people within the space and also provide a pleasant working environment for staff and visitors. 

PROTOCOL- Lotte Voorhoeve

The impact of design, whether good or poor cannot be underestimated in the Care Sector. For those living and working in a Care environment, there is often little opportunity to experience the stimilating variety offered by the wider world. Bad design can have a detrimental effect on wellbeing, from the architecture and layout of the building, down to the furnishing and finishes. For example, a lounge that is poorly located in a building, isolated from the community and lacking light or views will not be comfortable, no matter how beautifully finished and furnished it is. I have seen elderly residents taking their chairs to sit in a corridor in order to watch the world go by, rather than be confined to a room cut off from any human activity. 

SOLK- George Nuttall, Jonathon Solk, Helen Mawn, Tina Biggs)

Design is a major element of wellbeing, the right choice of colours and textures of materials can enhance and create a calming effect on the environment. 

BRIDGE- Brendan Pocock

Positive Design has a positive effect on wellbeing. Where happy is healthy, the design of an environment can have a big impact on the health of the individual, rather than mundane or poorly maintained surroundings, staff and patients will be healthier and more productive in an environment conducive to a relaxed ambience.