COLOUR IN HEALTH CARE ENVIRONMENTS
Do you know what colour you like but can’t figure out the right shade? Are you overwhelmed with the thought of picking paint colours for multiple rooms? Before we can specify colours, we recognise that humans react to colour on different levels. Some of these reactions are cognitive, others depend on perception, whereas other reactions are physiologically triggered.
Health Care environments should be friendly, therapeutic, and promote healing to the greatest extent possible. At ARA Interiors we make evidence-based decisions in the design process and we consider several user groups — the patients, caregivers, visitors, and the community at large. Each group has its own needs, which can be grouped under functional needs and perceptual needs.
In 2004 the Coalition for Health Environments Research (CHER) commissioned a definitive review of existing research into the use of colour in healthcare environments. The study suggests that colour applications can affect the perceptual experience and performance of people in particular environments, for example, our sense of spaciousness can be affected by contrasting colours.
As a designer, I need to discover what is important rather than assume that guidelines can cover every possible eventuality and provide solutions for all design challenges.