Although interior design is firmly established as a respected profession these days, the full importance of a designer's role and the impact they can have on improving quality of life in the home, at work, and at leisure is often overlooked.
Many businesses are driven by and dependent on good design, and interior designers can make a significant impact on the sustainability of a building. At KLC we firmly believe that social innovation and problem solving are an intrinsic part of an interior designer's remit, and they have a responsibility to create intelligent, effective and worthwhile designs which will improve the quality of life for end users.
As such, we have collated a series of informative and inspirational images which illustrate, quite simply, that 'Design Changes Lives'.
However, these are only a few examples and we would love to hear your own experiences of how design changes lives (#designchangeslives).
HospitalsHospitals are the most complex building type, with multiple design aspects to consider - access and circulation, sanitation and infection control, staff and patient safety, material sustainability, as well as aesthetics and comfort. Advancements in technology need to be matched by advancements in interior design to minimise risks to staff and patients.
This theatre suite in Whiteabbey Hospital, Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland was redesigned by RPP Architects in order to improve overall clinical facilities, allowing surgeons to regulate the theatre environment, enhance patient monitoring and patient dignity, as well as bringing infection control in line with current legislation.
The brainchild of designers PENSON, this office illustrates how the intelligent use of materials and excellent use of space can create a masterpiece of cohesion between visual fun and practical functionality, perfectly encapsulating the brand image of Google.
1 Brill, M et al (2001): Disproving Widespread Myths about Workplace Design. Kimball International, Jasper, Indiana, p18
Factors which were found to be highly beneficial included intelligent garden designs; such as wheelchair friendly greenhouses and raised planting beds for less mobile residents, creating care home entrance halls which are light, airy and inviting to encourage visitors and residents. Simple actions, like making a cup of tea for a guest, can help people with dementia remember a normal life. The featured garden is that of Park View Care Home in Ipswich, which won an award for the Best New Sensory and Memory Garden in 2012.
Professor Dalke's team reached the conclusion that a lack of design for independent living can itself cause a rapid decline for residents with Alzheimer's disease. People who have been moved to a more stimulating home have shown significant improvement in their physical or mental condition that was not directly attributable to greater luxury or more staff 2.
Illustrated above is The Cornelius Vermuyden School, a mixture of new and refurbished buildings, located on Canvey Island, Essex. Created by London-based studio Nicholas Hare Architects, the school was designed to be respectful of its surrounding residential context, as well as creating a modern and stimulating learning environment.
3 Heschong, L et al (2002): 'Daylighting Impacts on Human Performance in School'. Journal of the Illuminating Engineering Society, 31:2, pp 21-25.
Shops and Retail
Maggie's Centres are the creation of architect Charles Jencks, who sadly lost his wife Maggie to cancer in 1995. Maggie's belief that cancer sufferers shouldn't 'lose the joy of living in the fear of dying' and Charles' deep conviction of architecture's power to shape our life experiences led to a series of practical and beautifully-designed cancer care centres which are dedicated to empowering people to live with, through and beyond cancer. They bring together professional help, communities of support and exceptional building design to create centres of hope for cancer suffers and their families.
He consequently left his job at an advertising agency in the City and decided to pursue his life-long passion of garden design. Since graduating from KLC, Matthew has gone from strength to strength, achieving gold and silver medals at the Hampton Court Flower Show in 2012 and 2013, and a Silver Gilt medal for his Brewins Dolphin garden at Chelsea in 2014.
Photography courtesy of Lisa Cox and The Room Outside blog.