From patients to neighbours
When we met at the hospital for a briefing, we were told to use colour and bring narratives to life using Newham’s rich history. Additionally, we needed to use design and way-finding to encourage patients’ mobility while by being conscious that a considerable number of the patients’ suffer from varying stages of dementia which makes moving around the ward independently a daunting task.
As I walked through Thistle Ward, I found the corridors disorientating because everything looked the same. Every door was uniform and created with the purpose to accommodate beds being transported in and out of rooms, and to ensure all of the features of the ward adhered to the health and safety regulations you would expect to find at a hospital.
I observed a woman who had started walking through the halls, and she was looking for her room. I saw a nurse with their hands full try and navigate her back to her room, and she was lost. I could see the worry on her face and for that moment I felt just as confused and lost as she did.