Recently, I was reading the fascinating book: Design is a Mind-Field: Cell-Rejuvenating Architecture and Design by Rosalyn Dexter and came across an interesting case study from the book I wanted to share with you:
In the 1950’s in a simple low tech experiment, the renowned psychologist Professor Abraham Maslow took three rooms and furnished them as the ugly, the average, and the beautiful.
In each room he hung the same portraits.
He wanted to see if the visitors in different settings felt the portraits projected the feeling of well-being or not.
The beautiful room was dressed with works of art and fine furniture, and though there was a large window the lighting was strategically subdued.
The ugly room by contrast was cluttered and painted gray.
Torn light shades over-bright bulbs hung from the ceiling and odd bit of furnishings were strewn across the floor.
The average room was neat and clean and presented no real personality.
Assistants were stationed in each room, and as the visitors walked through, it was found that what the assistants and visitors’ experienced varied from one room to the next but in similar fashion.
Visitors felt the portraits hung on the walls of the ugly room seemed old and tired and the assistants felt irritable while there.
In the beautiful room the visitors found the same portraits vibrant and the assistants felt relaxed.
The average room recorded only slightly better results than the ugly one.
50 years later, neurobiologist and Professor at the University of London Zemir Zeki did a similar study. With the benefit of modern technology, he found similar results.
My big message to you today?
Your healthcare space is a vital tool to the sustainability of your healthcare practice.
Science keeps showing us over and over again that beauty boosts the immune system and activates areas in the brain that produce healing benefits.
Your people-centered space is about offering a beautiful, nurturing and safe space for your patients, who in turn, will experience better outcomes and a give you the kind of loyalty you won’t find in any other way.
And you deserve it.