Design Trends in Healthcare
Applications of color, pattern and texture
The practical applications of color, pattern and texture are particularly important for healthcare flooring.
For example, color, patterns and texture can:
● Provide a cleaner appearance by making stains and marks less visible
● Create interiors that have a positive influence, e.g. healing, homely, stress reducing
● Identify, unify or separate spaces to improve appearance and function
● Guide and orient for general or specific user profiles, e.g patients with dementia
Choosing the correct flooring colors depends on the audience and the space. For example, colours and patterns suitable for a patient bedroom or a corridor would be unsuitable for an operating theatre, which requires sharper visual contrasts to easily identify and recover dropped items such as small needles. Here are also some general principles:
● Although light colors are more reflective, they will also deteriorate more quickly and thus need to be replaced more often
● Dark colors can absorb downward lighting and alter the color spectrum
● Bright colors show stains more than matte colors
A well-designed healthcare environment can influence the behaviour, actions and interaction of patients, their families and care staff. For example, a welcoming interior can help stimulate social interaction by encouraging visits from family and friends, and in doing so, become an important factor in patient recovery. As a result, hospital design is moving closer to hotel styling without abandoning technical and expert medical functions.
In keeping with this approach, our international design team has identified three major trends in healthcare flooring and applied them to all our collections:
● Human inside
● Interactive space
● Green strategy
This trend is characterized by the desire to make hospital environments more human, in response to the clear demand from patients as well as their friends and relatives. More specifically, this involves paying special attention to how space is treated with an emphasis on using colours and light to create a serene and soft atmosphere. Creating a link to outside space with rooms looking out onto a view of a garden or patio is also a decisive feature of this trend. This trend seeks to ensure the following:
● Comfort and reassurance
● Serene and soft atmosphere
● Acoustic comfort and warm, natural materials
● Natural and therapeutic environments
By 2040, patients will be more involved in the management of their own health. According to specialist forecasts, hospitals will no longer be defined by their size and the number of beds, but by the level of additional services they provide. Smaller, more specialized hospitals will develop along with increases in home treatment. The future of hospitals will therefore no longer rely solely on access to medical facilities, but also comfort and hospitality.
Completely aligned with this prediction for the hospital of the future, the interactive space trend aims to make the world of technology more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable, with pure function no longer the sole criterion. Hospitals need to be seen as somewhere that patients can enjoy a full life. As a result, architects have envisaged solutions not only for the buildings themselves but also for their interiors, which are redefined by more open, inviting and generous living spaces. The hospital becomes a positive, modern environment that is connected to the world outside. This trend seeks to ensure the following:
● Added value to energise and humanize
● A high-tech effect
● Open architecture
● Pure lines and organic forms
● Contemporary designer style
Upcoming trends in healthcare flooring
Experts forecast that there will be a greater emphasis on health in the future with more green spaces available to contribute to a healthy outdoor life. In addition, hospitals will also have an increasing duty to lead by example in terms of environmental policy.
The green strategy trend reflects our current preoccupation with ecological and environmental challenges and environmentally friendly building standards that have been introduced by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
Today, architects recognize the importance of sustainable development and are defining solutions to reduce the energy costs of hospital buildings which have traditionally been energy hungry. The architecture, equipment, and also the hospital decor aim to respect and promote nature while maintaining the level of hospitality and quality of for patients. This trend seeks to ensure the following:
● Natural, soothing shades
● Healthy and ecological materials
● Respect of nature
● Low energy solutions
● Natural and recyclable materials