Great design starts with deep curiosity—to gain empathy, to break out of norms and to test creative intuition. Research is not an end in itself, but a means by which we create better buildings.
Our commercial and healthcare facility designs include dedicated spaces for staff breaks which are designed to help lower levels of arousal fatigue and staff burnout, including private outdoor patios for caregivers to recharge. The building’s garden-like, indoor-outdoor environment also provides more relaxing, natural settings for caregivers to work in.
We can create models that simulate what clinic spaces would look like to all patients. Together, these research techniques can be essential to support an empathetic design process that result in targeted design solutions to create an intuitive and visually comfortable environment.
The Barbados Healthcare Campus (featured in this model) will be one of the Caribbean's largest healthcare buildings to use cross-laminated timber (CLT), a sustainable, low-cost engineered wood which imbues the center’s interiors with a comforting, natural feel. With floor-to-ceiling windows framing views oriented towards the facility's extensive outdoor green space—which includes flowing water that winds its way through the site, an outdoor amphitheater for group courses and performances, and walking paths and gardens—the design will provide ample opportunity for people to connect with nature.
Our Team considers acoustics as well in our healthcare design strategies, as patients with eye conditions and patients undergoing dilation can be more sensitive to sound. Playful acoustic panels in sub-waiting zones and in the cafe are inspired by ophthalmological “visual field” diagrams. Seating areas can also feature a dividing wall that creates quiet and active zones, and even hosts a whimsical child-sized opening for young patients to explore.
For our Hospital and Healthcare facility designs, we include a restorative garden adjacent to the clinic drop-off to encourage a multi-sensory experience for patients and their loved ones via textural changes and a tactile wall. Landscape elements are also selected to build on other senses in lieu of vision. The garden design includes a diverse array of fragrant and tactile plants to provide sensory interest—as well as welcoming familiarity—throughout the year. In addition, our team creates a barrier-free entry, while selected materials are specified to enhance visibility. For instance, we tend to recommend using a darker than typical sand finish to reduce glare and light levels for patients.
For unique patient populations, rethinking the design process, not just the outcome, can transform patient care. Empathic design positively impacts the patient experience. To create a clinic that is thoughtful, responsive and uplifting, our design team develops an innovative computer simulation process to help visualize how patients with different conditions might react to spatial influences. We use such valuable insights to inform the design, from the use of high-contrast colors and bold graphics to dimmable lighting and a sensory-rich arrival experience. The result is a clinic that better responds to patients’ needs.
Muli Designs harvests insights from social science, neuroscience, materials science and other fields to improve the design of buildings and cities. Contact us to learn more about each of our research initiatives. Because science and creative intuition are harmonious partners, we apply research to every aspect of our Architecture approach.
Acoustics are one of the major contributors to a building’s overall health, especially in workplace and healthcare environments. In the workplace, noise pollution leads to decreased productivity and satisfaction, while in hospitals, noise negatively impacts both patient recovery and staff performance. To reduce noise, we consider solutions that counteract the sound of the human voice and promote an atmosphere of rest and focus to create a healthier and more productive space for work and healing.
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