Thoughtful Design – Using Aquariums In Waiting Rooms

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in Behind the Design
Thoughtful Design – Using Aquariums In Waiting Rooms

What kind of thoughts come to mind when you are sitting in a waiting room waiting to see your Doctor?

Are you thinking about those few extra pounds you’ve gained and wondering if you have to step on the scales? Are you hoping your blood pressure will not be too high? Are you rehearsing in your mind all of the symptoms that you need to report and hoping you remember to ask all of the questions you need answered? Or are you wondering what your lab results might be? No matter what types of thoughts you are having, chances are you are feeling anxious.

Meanwhile your doctor is in the back office, popping in and out of exam rooms, seeing patients, listening to heart beats and breath sounds, while you are patiently waiting for your turn, for your name to be called. He has no idea what is going on in the waiting room.

Enter, the designer. The designer is thinking of you in the waiting room. The designer wants you to be in a soothing, comfortable room. The designer is thinking of all the things that will make you feel calm and peaceful.

When designing a room that is often without natural light, an aquarium is a perfect way to add light, beauty, and distraction from troublesome thoughts. Aquariums appeal to people from 1 to 99 years of age. Scientists don’t really know the exact reasoning behind this. However, they’ve been doing studies for an upwards of 30 years that show time and time again that aquariums improve peace of mind.

Studies have shown that aquariums can both lower high blood pressure and reduce the severity of anxiety.


The image shown here is of the Carson Medical Group located in Carson City, Nevada. The waiting room was designed by Marie Wikoff of the Wikoff Design Stuido and showcases a large representation of an aquarium.