Healthcare clinics and urgent care is a service that we have all had to visit at some point, whether it be to take a child in the middle of the night, an elderly parent, or even ourselves. If you have not had this experience, I feel sure that sometime in your life, you will get to experience this. We find ourselves rushing in to get on the list in hopes that others are not in line ahead of us. We engage in mountains of paperwork and find ourselves digging for insurance cards while our personal anxiety level is on the rise. After we are all set to be seen, the wait begins. And it seems to go on forever, sometimes. We often are found sitting in a nest of others that are trying to find a comfortable seat or a place to quietly rest while waiting.

As a designer, I often find myself thinking “How can we make this experience better?” I try to take mental notes so that if I am given the opportunity to offer my services in the future I will not forget comfort is such a key element. With the economy working to recover, the number of staff is down and we are, to an extent, left to take care of ourselves. Clinics and urgent care centers are such a vital source for the sick that we should not have to dread this experience.

We as designers need to stop and remember how we feel when in these waiting rooms. We need to look to place colors that lift our spirits and furniture that feels good against our skin. We need to place art that allows our minds to relax. It is very easy to look at the plans for a commercial healthcare facility and forget that designers are in this position to not only spec a product, but to offer advice; to be the voice of reason.