Children are not little adults. All spaces and places where children journey should have custom-designed, artful experiences as enhancements to the interior design, landscape and architecture.
Designing these experiences are a planned process that considers, organizational input and goals, clinical input and goals, along with patient and family needs and desires.
Artwork complements and amplifies the design objectives of the organization and the design team. Art is an integral part of design.
Guidelines for designing art programs for children’s hospitals:
- Artwork and environmental enhancements should be designed to support their health journey throughout their experience at the medical center and their continuum of care.
- Art in public spaces must be accessible to children of all physical, emotional and mental abilities; reflecting the multi-culture of the organization; and engaging multi-senses, wherever possible.
- Artwork utilized for wayfinding, and placemaking should, whenever possible, be of “hero” scale to be memorable, elicit positive emotions, and connect to the childlike qualities of awe, discovery and wonder.
- Artwork working as enhancements for waiting and sub-waiting areas need to provide positive distractions, the ability for families to tell stories, and use materials that are easy to maintain and acceptable to infection control.
- Patient exam and treatment space artwork should take into consideration what takes place in each of those spaces, the dwell time of the patient, engagement ability, and ideally, be designed to transform the clinical nature of the spaces.
- Children of this generation are technologically savvy and respond to interactive multi-media experiences. Look for opportunities of creating immersive experiences in spaces where children wait for longer periods of time.
- Wherever possible vet all art ideas with children, families and clinical teams to a get direct input before implementing ideas.
- Develop measurable goals for each project before implementing, analyze the current evidence that impacts your project, design a measurement outcome protocol, and perform an outcome study for each project.
- Add to the body of evidence through NOAH or other arts in health resources.