Dignified Spaces: Supporting conversations – creating non clinical spaces, one of six commissioned projects for the new South Glasgow University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Sick Children.
The Dignified Spaces team was led by Alex Hamilton and included Fremi Arts, curating; Catalog Design, interior design; Jane McKie, creative writing; Anna Channing, medical herbalist; Marco Scerri, visual communication; Hannah Brackston, green spaces research; Nicola Murray, design of upholstery fabric and wallpapers; along with Teal Furniture Ltd.
More than eighty quiet rooms were considered and enhanced as part of the core project. The rooms are used for a range of purposes of which the most important are conversations between clinical, nursing or spiritual care staff and patients’ relatives and carers. On a practical level the rooms need to be comfortable, safe and quiet; they also need to convey that users of the rooms are being treated with dignity.
The team worked with an art and design palette, including lighting, wall colours and coverings, flooring, furniture and artworks. The project used creative community engagement strategies to inform thinking about the idea of dignity and the development of innovative approaches to interiors.
The approach was to seek connections with nature, this approach can be called biophilic design.
Hamilton and his team settled on the metaphor of walled garden to inform the design process.
To drive the biophilic design, a process of creative engagement was undertaken. The community workshops and clinical conversations involved individuals aged from four to seventy, exploring ways of considering all aspects of dignity, including how to listen, and what helps listening in clinical settings.
The workshop activity, held at Hidden Gardens, Glasgow, involved participants looking at the plants within the walled garden, selecting leaves and petals with which they made their own image using the cyanotype process. Cyanotype photography provided a direct and immediate method for image making. These pictures helped to inform the design process, wallpaper, fabric for chairs, and the overall aesthetic used in the Quiet Rooms.
Through close collaboration with Teal a unique fabric design was developed and applied to standard furniture for each of the rooms.
The Therapeutic Design and Arts Strategy for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s new South Glasgow University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Sick Children is focused on the patient pathway. The hospitals provide new state of the art healthcare facilities and high quality designed environments for a significant proportion of the population of Glasgow, and in some fields, for Scotland. The project brings together Children’s and Adult Acute services with existing Maternity, Neo-natal and Neurosciences services on one campus.
Ginkgo Projects’ evidence-based programme for the Therapeutic Design and Arts strategy has sought to enhance the patient experience and journey through developing creative processes and works of art and design that aim to connect patients, staff and visitors to the hospital’s social cultural and environmental context.
Lead Artist: Alexander Hamilton
Curator: Grazyna Fremi
Engagement Sponsor: Teal Furniture