Have you guys heard the news about Kanye West, Kim K’s beloved hubby?
After suffering from exhaustion, depression and paranoia, he checked himself into a psychiatric hospital and cancelled his Saint Pablo music tour.
(For those of you who have never heard of Kanye West, he is a famous rapper who became even more famous after he married Kim Kardashian.)
I understand mental illness, as I, too, have suffered from bouts of anxiety and depression over the years.
I also understand the importance of the design of a psychiatric facility in helping to heal and rehab its clients.
And, so like any curious designer would do, I took a much closer look at the architecture and design of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital (where Kanye is staying) located inside the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center to see what evidence-based-design techniques were employed by the architects.
What I found made my heart sing.
The main healing property utilized by the architects was natural light. The tag line for the hospital project designed by Pei Partnership Architecture was “Light creating a place of healing.”
Keep scrolling for some quick pics of the interior space.
Notice how every space is flooded with natural light–a main component in healing proven by science to reduce reliance on pain medications and facilitate healing so much so that patients who are continuously exposed to natural light are released from the hospital sooner than those who are not.
Yes, many rooms in the building are more like galleries with high ceilings and grandiose architecture. And yes, if I were part of the design team, I would advocate for a cozier vibe with different colors and design elements…
And yet, I understand how important lighting is to healing and how challenging it can be to build spaces around the light of the sun.
Light is a gift and a wonderful component to any healing space.
As Esther Sternberg writes in her book, Healing Spaces, The Science of Place and Well-Being:
“In fact, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the notion that sunlight could heal was very much in vogue.
In 1860, Florence Nightingale (the founder of modern nursing) wrote that darkened rooms were harmful and sunlit rooms healthful.
Large, airy, bright rooms were the hallmark of what came to known as a “Florence Nightingale” hospital ward.”
I hope you feel better soon Kanye.
To get started on designing a beautiful, nurturing and safe space for your clients and patients, here’s the help you need:
May the light be with you,