In the field of healthcare design, where decisions are made by hospital administrators, architects, and the teams they recruit to launch and direct expensive building and renovation projects, it wasn’t always the case that design decisions were made by first deliberately looking at what available evidence would have to say about this or that design choice.
Even the practice of medicine has had to come along way to establish that the diagnosis and treatment of disease should be based on evidence. It seems crazy to think that “evidence based medicine” has emerged as a deliberate practice only within the last 50 years to reshape the way physicians made decisions. Standing in the way was long tradition of treating the physician as a sort of mythic or heroic being, holder of secret knowledge, as well as the self-interest of physicians clinging to that status. Breaking down these old assumptions and biases takes time and effort and clear communication.
The same should be said of “evidence-based design” which I will spend quite some time to explore in this blog, focusing on the role of visual art in the built environment. If you want to learn more about evidence-based design as a discipline, please visit the Center for Health Design, which certifies practitioners in EBD and supports its practice among architects, designers, and healthcare leaders whose choices affect the health and wellbeing of us all.