Human-centered architecture, which puts people at the center of the design process, seeks to optimize positive interactions between humans and buildings. How far-reaching are the impacts of this sort of design for healthcare facilities?
Take a moment to step back from your role in the design and building process and put yourself in the position of the user. As a patient or physician, how would you use this space? What activities would you be performing in this space, and how might the space make you feel more comfortable and cared for? How would you like to interact with others in the space? Finding the answers to these questions is at the core of any truly effective human-first design strategy in a healthcare environment.
The Human-Centered Healthcare Design Philosophy
A human-centered healthcare design process simply means that the wants and needs of your patients, staff, and visitors have the final say in the choices made during the design process. We believe that the design of a Healthcare facility should not be made from our perspective but from the perspective of those who will eventually use the space. Healthcare architecture and design should be centered around people.
You won't have all the answers right away; designing a healthcare facility in this way is highly iterative. Innovation and change are driven by understanding how and why people will use a design solution. Authentic creation leads to real change much faster than a typical copycat strategy. That’s the end game.
One word: empathy. The best way to create empathy? Observe people using the types of spaces you intend to create in the real world! If you have the opportunity, first-hand observations bring true perspective, remove guesswork, and help generate creative ideas. Collecting real-world information about behavior will help identify powerful design solutions that make human-centered design possible.
Putting it All Together
Armed with a better, more empathetic understanding of your end-users, along with the identification of key design solutions, you can now begin bringing your vision to life! You’re ready to create a Healthcare environment that embodies specific solutions centered around the people who will use your facility daily. A human-centered design process is simple to understand yet requires a lot of hard work. However, if the process is executed well, people can reap the benefits for decades!