Video feature: Teaching design that follows the evidence

We often think of using evidence in making medical decisions or evaluating social programs.  But is there a way to use data in a more subjective field like design?  The answer is yes!

Several decades ago, a new field called Evidence-Based Design linked the principles of evidence-based medicine with architectural and interior design to create health care facilities proven to help patients heal.  (Since then, the field has expanded to corporate environments as well.)

To date, there have been more than 1,000 academic studies that investigate design elements to make patients feel more comfortable, improve the quality and safety of health care, and create a positive working environment for health care professionals.  

One comprehensive review on the best practices is published here and includes recommendations like creating single-bed hospital rooms, using noise-deadening materials in construction, and maximizing natural light in health care facilities.

 At Cornell, faculty members in the College of Human Ecology are working on the cutting edge of this field.  They’ve investigated how the design of an intensive care unit impacts the communication among the nursing staff. And they’ve examined ways to improve the experience of people with Alzheimer’s disease living in residential facilities.

 Professor Frank Becker in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis teaches a course that brings together students majoring in business, health care administration and design to learn about and create evidence-based health care facilities.  You can watch a video about the class below.

Here at EBL, we love it when experts in all fields discover and use evidence to improve people’s lives!

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