I love talking to designers. They’re such problem-solvers. For example, the other day, I had a really interesting conversation with Martin Linder, designer of the Florabella Lounge Collection by Brandrud (a Herman Miller company), which recently won a Nightingale Award at the Healthcare Design 09 conference. Our discussion ranged from worry beads to hugs to pathogens to machines for detecting explosives in airports (which he also designs, but that’s a whole other story.)
Linder, a tenured professor at San Francisco State University and partner in MSL Design, believes good design starts with good research, so he spent many hours in hospital waiting rooms observing how people interact with the furniture there. Some, he discovered, found comfort using armrest seams as “worry beads;” others took the concept of “lounge” to new heights – or depths, actually. These and other factors (did we mention those pesky pathogens?) were all taken into consideration before he ever picked up a drawing tool.
In addition to his observations, Linder also talked with hospital personnel, including nurses and maintenance crews.