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Healthcare design trends 2018

Beautiful wayfinding, designing for safety and also sustainability – here are some of the top trends in healthcare design, from reimagining hospitals to smaller clinics and private consulting suites.

The rise of practical wayfinding art

Hospitals can be huge and clear signage is key – especially for patients and visiting (sometimes distressed) families.

Wayfinding along walls and suspended from ceilings is vital in getting patients and families to where they need to go.

But there’s a recognition now that because wayfinding signs are looked at so frequently, they can also have an important role to play in setting a positive, helpful mood in a sometimes very stressful environment. The application of brand elements and graphic art are beginning to make their way into wayfinding across Australia.

Designing for safety

There are many practical realities that need to be incorporated into healthcare design and fit-out. For example, mental healthcare facilities will not be taking on the slimline furniture trend. Heavyset furniture is key when it comes to creating a safe environment for some mental health patients and healthcare professionals. Should a patient become agitated, a heavyset chair is less likely to become a potential projectile.

Sustainable hospitals

Sydney’s Westmead Children’s Hospital runs a fortnightly farmers market in its carpark, providing some patients, their families and staff with easy access to fresh and healthy produce. They also run a PVC recycling initiative, for plastics like IV bags, tubing and oxygen masks. Hospital design solutions to support sustainability activities and initiatives are becoming more and more common.

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