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Oasis of calm: Design reduces aggression in hospitals

02 : 12 : 2013 Design : Frustration : Stress Reduction

London – Design is not just about a pretty chair and a nice colour scheme; it can be a solution to serious problems, a mood-enhancer and a way to simplify the transmittance of information, as seen in the A Better A&E project by London design firm PearsonLloyd.

The project, which was trialled for a year, aimed to tackle the problem of aggression in Accident & Emergency hospital wards. In their research, PearsonLloyd found that most aggression stemmed from frustration at not knowing what was going on. Part of the solution was to introduce highly designed signage and digital communications that better explained waiting times and processes to patients, which resulted in a reduction of aggressive behaviour by 50% .

‘Such a strong impact with such simple, low cost solutions is a huge endorsement of the potential for design to help solve real problems,’ says Tom Lloyd, director at PearsonLloyd.

Hospitals and pharmacies are spaces that tend to elicit unease from visitors. Take cues from our micro trend Designer Pharmacies and PearsonLloyd, and use design to create calming and stress-free environments.