I stumbled upon this article on Slate a few days ago and wanted to share it with all of you. There’s a project in the UK, run by James Ledbitter and Hannah Hull, called “Madlove: A Designer Asylum.”
From the article by Kristin Hohenadel:
Convinced that psychiatric wards’ bland, bad design directly affects patients like himself, Leadbitter and collaborator Hannah Hull spent months conducting workshops around the U.K. to crowdsource ideas from more than 300 patients, psychiatrists, architects, and designers on how to build visually appealing, patient-centered spaces in place of grim and institutional settings.
Leadbitter told me in an email that the feedback was wide-ranging, including one memorable comment from a young man in Birmingham, England, who said: “All I want is a room with Fabergé eggs and a hammer.”
I’ve never been hospitalized, partly due to my own stubbornness and partly due to my inability to handle the bill, but I recognize that psychiatric hospitals are of tremendous value when it comes to keeping people safe. True, they’re far from perfect, but it gives me hope to see projects like Madlove taking off.
If you’d like to learn more about the project, take a peek at the website (I love the layout).
In the process of doing some baby-research for this post, I found another article addressing the ideal environment in psychiatric hospitals. It’s a bit lengthier, but a good read if you have the time.
Readers – If you had to design the perfect ward, what would it look like? I’m fond of the “Fabergé eggs and a hammer” idea myself.