Even trips that are tinged with joy (like births) can be a worrying experience. It’s no wonder that from the rare full blown Iatrophobia - fear of doctors - or nosocomephobia - fear of hospitals - to simply not wanting to be here! Many people don’t like being in a hospital building.
We’re now seeing a long term art movement, that has set to work on humanising the site itself. Across the world there are art donation programs, hospital art committees - even hospital curators! But why spend money on art?
Countless studies have shown that art aids the healing process; bringing down the heart rate, provoking a ‘joy response’, lowering stress and providing a much-needed opportunity for contemplation for staff and patients.
It is in no way a new idea either. In the early nineteenth century, the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, was a strong advocate for art in hospitals and its positive effects on the healing process.
So the question is not if it works, the question is how can we make it work to the best affect? I always advocate that art should be integrated into a building from the beginning, allowing for seamless implementation. A hospital is no different.
From culturally informed placemaking, to art-based wayfinding, here are some artistically inspired hospital ideas Art Pharmacy have been mulling over.
From passive, calming art experiences, to more learning-based, interactive and distracting installations - here’s how you can think differently about getting arts and culture into hospitals.