Sunday, 13 November 2011

A Quiet Place as a Healing Space

I’ve been reading a book by Esther M Steinberg on Healing Spaces and relating it to the work of AQP. When AQP talks to clients about creating an environment we try to convey the importance of the space being special and healing to those who visit it and those who work in it. AQP develops the space so that it appeals to all the senses and thereby lends itself to promoting a feeling of well being and calm.
I can remember a time when the organisation I worked for re-located to another building. My desk (AKA my personal space) went from overlooking a tree lined car park to facing a blank wall, no external natural light and next to a drinks machine that constantly buzzed and whirred. I was so miserable! I felt as if the organisation had ceased to care about me and my colleagues. I know for sure my work suffered as a result and probably my health.
Sternberg ends Healing Spaces by considering how data on the healing effects of place might better inform the design of public buildings such as hospitals. She quotes the World Health Organization's definition of health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" and asserts that the "built environment affects all these aspects of health." She explains that all sorts of national health and architectural design organisations, such as The Center for Health Design in California, are exploring connections between place and health.
I couldn’t agree with her more……………………. Lets start to do it in Liverpool with the advent of the new Royal Liverpool and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

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