As the sun painted a warm glow over the dunes, streaming into the conference hall on the first afternoon at the 2023 Ecophon International Acoustic Seminar (EIAS), Alessandro Caruso stepped onto the stage, bringing a captivating vibe and challenging us to rethink the role of design in shaping the emotional landscapes of healthcare environments. Caruso – Managing Director & Principal Architect at Alessandro Caruso Architects – his presentation, “Shaping a Vibrant Experience,” explored how design elements of a space can create inclusive, sustainable, and emotionally engaging environments in healthcare settings.
Caruso’s approach underlines the importance of understanding individual circumstances. This to tailor an adaptable and conducive environment to achieve the best outcomes. This approach involves a detailed interrogation of the project brief, engaging all stakeholders, researching collaborative and sustainable design solutions. And maintaining transparent communication with all building users.
In a thought-provoking question, Caruso asked, “Have you ever entered a hospital and experienced a feeling of joy?” The question underscored the aim of his presentation – to illustrate the possibility of designing empathic experiences, considering the continuous vibration a space can create.
Caruso’s methodology hinges on a holistic co-design approach to well-being. He argues that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is not applicable in healthcare design. Instead, an accurate understanding of the people using the building is vital to achieving sustainable healthcare outcomes. Caruso’s investigation employs completed projects to demonstrate how reducing anxiety and promoting well-being can be achieved through careful environmental design.
This approach’s results suggest that space’s character and personality can significantly influence the human experience. Spaces that exude positive energy can provide inclusive psychological support, promoting empathy and the overall well-being of end users.
The role of architecture
Caruso’s presentation was a reminder of the power and potential of thoughtful, patient-centric design in healthcare settings. His exploration of the harmonious patterns that shape our experiences with space provided a refreshing and necessary perspective on the role of architecture in healthcare. It was a testament to the fact that the design of healthcare environments should be a conscientious process that genuinely considers its users’ emotional well-being.
Stay tuned for more insights from EIAS 2023 as we explore the intersection of acoustics, design, and well-being.