Evidence Based Design and How it Applies to Art

Although it is a long-held belief that the physical environment has a profound effect on a person’s well-being, the term Evidence Based Design (EBD) is relatively new. This emerging field of study has taken these long-held beliefs to a new level; scientific evidence is supporting exactly how and what can be used to promote health, well-being and productivity. It answers questions like: Where’s the “proof” that a space can actually improve the health of patients in a hospital? Where’s the “proof” that design can increase productivity?

What is it?
Evidence-Based Design goes beyond simply finding the right art pieces that match the floor coloring; it’s about gathering information on demographics, psychographics, administrative goals, building requirements, and having a solid understanding of what works (and what doesn’t) in a particular space.

waiting area 1

EBD and Healthcare
Studies on architecture show how the physical environment can influence health and promote healing. EBD is an increasingly growing consideration for hospitals and clinics that are undergoing new construction, expansions or remodeling. It brings together teams of architects, designers, artists, facility managers and stakeholders to develop innovative spaces that are a perfect fit to meet specific objectives.

When the objectives are met, the outcomes are a mix of measurable results and anecdotal evidence. When a space utilizes the correct colors, artful elements and creative space design, it has shown to comfort patients, energize staff, reduce stress, and showcase the health-care organization as a whole.

The Center for Health Design has developed a full curriculum for accreditation and certification in EBD centered on architecture and design, knowing that hospitals and clinics are benefiting from the data-driven decisions that go into creating a space for healing.

Beyond Naturescapes
Working with designers, architects, and hospital administration, finding and sourcing art that will have the most impact in EBD requires a deep understanding of the project as a whole. It is oftentimes assumed that the go-to imagery for EBD is nature-based art, especially in health care settings. It’s true that “bringing the outdoors in” has shown to have a positive impact on the people in the environment. But, research is showing that going beyond nature-inspired pieces is equally as important on EBD.

Successful EBD recommendations are not “one size fits all” solutions. Color, media, textures, themes, lighting and size also play a significant role in developing a healthcare space that positively influences patients and caregivers. Art can be integrated to create a full sensory experience, all of which ties into improving the health and wellness of everyone coming into contact with the space.

hospital room

Integrating Art
When delving into Evidence-Based Design, it is vital to have a well-rounded, expert team to develop a space that will have the most influential results. Sourcing art for an EBD plan takes an enormous amount of experience and resources to find artists and pieces that will exemplify the research that went into the developing the space in the first place. Evidence-Based Design — at its core — is about incorporating creativity and imagination into design decisions that are driven by scientific data.

Integrated Art Group is regularly called in to advise, consult and coordinate the art pieces required for Evidence Based Design. Bringing years of experience in sourcing art and partnering with healthcare spaces, our team brings a deep level of understanding to what is required for the most impactful outcomes for EBD.


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