HEALING CRADLE

An Adaptive Sensory Patient Recovery Room

ARCHITECTURE: FROM VESSEL TO VEHICLE

The Healing Cradle project pioneers a movement to change the way the world designs and builds architecture. Today, buildings are passive as they house function to help meet occupant need. Yet, the Healing Cradle pulls architectural evolution from passive design to interactive design to adaptive design. And when such adaptive environments are fused with multi-sensory design – architecture fosters function; which in turn serves to meet occupant need, but also goes beyond this to help occupants overcome challenges, and actualize their desired short-term and long-term goals. In essence, this Healing Cradle project unlocks the critical role environments have in helping people become the best version of themselves – in this case, by helping them to heal more quickly, with greater quality, and with optimized resilience. This demonstrates how in the future, environmental designers can transform built environments from merely functioning as vessels that contain functionality, into vehicles that nurture functionality by helping occupants to get from where they are to where they want to be.

ORCHESTRATING STIMULI TO DISRUPT THE STATUS QUO

The problems that current healthcare settings trigger are profound as can be seen in hospitals that are designed to house healing, but not to foster it in a proactive way. Hospitals today add stress, anxiety, tension, headache, and even pain as the environmental stimuli that they emit (like TV displays, wall color, floor pattern, artwork, windows, doors, and columns, etc.) detract from the healing process because they are not orchestrated in real-time. For example, a glass window that lets in natural light may be nice at a certain moment in the day, but when a patient is watching television this same natural light may cast a glare that reflects from the monitor; thus, giving the patient a headache. While this is a simple example, the consequences of compounding sensory symptoms experienced by patients during their hospital stay is significant. The architectural design approach in present-day healthcare settings is a one-size-fits-all approach. And this is where the Healing Cradle disrupts the status quo to change how one thinks, designs, and builds healing environments.

ACTUALIZING HUMAN POTENTIAL:
FROM HEALING, TO OUR NEXT EVOLUTION AS A HUMANITY

The Healing Cradle adaptive sensory patient recovery room personalizes environmental stimuli by orchestrating it into an architectural choreography that dynamically adjusts and changes to meet the needs and goals of each patient as they journey through their healing narrative for a particular illness. In doing this, the Healing Cradle proactively helps the medical team to treat and care for the patient while also helping the patient to engage in beneficial healing behaviors at just the right time during the healing narrative. Thus, this project unlocks how architecture can evolve beyond mere one-off interactions, to create environments that engage in a two-way dialogue with their occupants to help each person actualize their highest potential – and when applied to all building types, this is how we as a humanity can grow into our next evolution.

INNOVATION TO EVOLVE HUMANITY’S ROLE

The Healing Cradle project is truly innovative because it pulls from the interdisciplinary fields of: architectural design, neuroscience, psychology, captology, gamification, biophilia, biomimicry, and emerging technologies like sensor/actuator systems, rule-based systems, and smart material innovations. While the Healing Cradle adaptive patient recovery room depicts a powerful case study for the integration of adaptive sensory design into the realization of built environments, it is important to remember that this adaptive sensory design methodology applies to all building types – for example, to help children learn with greater curiosity in schools, to help workers achieve optimized levels of creativity and productivity in office buildings, or to help patients heal faster, with higher quality, and with less pain in hospitals. This project is about disrupting the default, one-size-fits-all, passive way architecture has always been, to help it strategically evolve into an ideal future that helps us as a humanity rise to overcome the challenges we face – by deepening our relationship with ourselves, with each other, and with the planet in positive ways.

CREDITS

 
CONCEPT DESIGN, SOUND DESIGN, AND FILM PRODUCTION

Maria Lorena Lehman — MLL Design Lab

 
MEDIA TOOLS

Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, SketchUp, Lumion Pro, Adobe AfterEffects, Camtasia

 
MUSICAL COMPOSITION

A Flicker of Hope by Sid Acharya

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