Research on Healthcare Design

Posted by on Nov 11, 2022 in Behind the Design
Research on Healthcare Design

Research on healthcare design is constant because of the ever-changing aspects. Designers want to continue to be at the forefront of research so that they have an edge over other designers. An article published by the architecture and design magazine gives you some insight into how this research is happening and what is truly being researched. To read the highlights continue reading below, if you would like to read the original article click here.

The Role of Research in Design

Formally trained in architecture, public health, and nursing, working at Texas A&M, Pentecost has used his diverse background to become an advocate and practitioner of healthcare facility evidence-based design throughout his career.

“There’s a lot of disciplines coming together and blending somehow into a career direction,” Pentecost said.

Beyond the university setting, Pentecost has also helped guide the worldwide architecture community toward more research to impact global health. For example, as the director of the International Union of Architects (UIA) – Public Health Group based in Paris. Pentecost co-authored a declaration for the UIA, approved by 104 member nations, to make “2022: The UIA Year of Design for Health.” 

He added that he wants to change the way architects see their role to that of “health professionals” and evolve the current curriculum.“If we don’t find a way to incorporate and prioritize research in the curriculum, we’re going to graduate brand new graduates who are not relevant and that would be a tragedy.” 

“Everyone knows healthcare is a team sport,” he said. “The people surrounding me over the course of my career have changed me.” 

Truly Inclusive Environments

‘Equal access is not an optional extra,’ identifies that to create a truly inclusive environment, designers should go beyond regulatory accessibility compliance requirements and consider a more holistic and humanist approach to the concept of universal design. A wide range of principles addressing the issues of social integration, personalization, and cultural appropriateness must be considered. (Source)

Co-Design in Health

The crucial first step in delivering inclusive design is to understand any specific group’s particular needs and to consult with them about how best to accommodate those requirements to reinforce social equity. (Source)

“An inclusive environment does not attempt to meet every need but offers a choice where a single design solution cannot accommodate all users.”

The Centre for Architecture and the Built Environment

Inclusive Design

People who identify in the LGBTIQA+ community experience very high rates of mental illness, stigma, discrimination, and disadvantage. Designing a place where they feel safe when going to get treatment will help to ensure that fewer people go untreated.

At least one in ten people are neurodivergent and are hypersensitive to sensory constructions of space. People with neurodivergent variations prefer routine and order, so transitioning from one activity or area to another can present challenges. Apart from the convenience and moral imperative for inclusive facilities, a design that excludes users is now a potential legal and financial liability. (Source)

If you enjoyed this article check out Bringing EBD Research Alive to Get the Best Healthcare Design, Using Research to Inform Design, and Gaining Insight from Research is the Ultimate Guide for Successful Healthcare Design, Especially When It Comes to Veteran Care

Marie Wikoff is the creator of Wikoff Design Studio based out of Reno, Nevada. Her expertise in healthcare design has helped modernize healthcare organizations locally, regionally, and internationally, improving patient experience and outcomes. Her credentials include Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC), American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designer (CHID), the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and LEED AP. Contact Marie Wikoff

Source: Miletic, Branko. “Hassell Ramps up Its Research on Healthcare Design.” Architecture & Design, 25 Oct. 2022,

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