The Status of Light and Color in Environmental Psychology in Designing Child-Focused Treatment Spaces (Case Study: Mofid Pediatrics Hospital)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Professor at Islamic Azad University, Damavand Branch, Damavand, Iran.

2 Last semester student in Architectural Technology, Islamic Azad University, Damavand Branch, Damavand, Iran.


According to the impact of environmental psychology concepts on the quality of life, it is important to provide a favorable environment for patients when designing treatment spaces. Environmental psychology is an emerging specialty discipline which emphasizes on mutual impact of the architecture’s behaviors, factors, and physical status and the environment more than other aspects. Given the importance of treatment spaces, they should be a quite calm environment based on the needs of referrers. Light and color are of critical factors which affect physical health, psychological balance, and improvement of the quality of life. Most treatment space-related studies have focused on the physical concepts of hospitals, while disregarding the aesthetic subjective concepts. The present article has tried to investigate the importance of light and color in designing treatment spaces and how to transform a dreadful hospital space into a cheerful and calm environment based on the views of children as the referrers of these spaces. This research assumed that correct use of light and color can reduce fear, anxiety and highly affect the improvement trend of patient children and reduce their treatment course. As a place where human beings endure pain and find cure to their ailments, born and die in, the hospital is also an interesting subject from an architectural point of view, because it serves as a place where humans either pull through a critical medical condition or die in the process. The unfamiliar ambiance
of the hospital can be unwelcoming and put a lot of stress on the patient and intensify his/ her tensions. The issue is more important when we are dealing with younger patients and children. Therefore, in order to enable the rehabilitation and treatment team engagement more effectively and interact better in order to be able to employ the treatment strategies to get better results in curing these children, the need for an optimum ambiance for treatment
and rehabilitation is obvious. Additionally, taking environmental obstacles and even the parameters which are conducive to increasing the performance and appeal of the ambiance into consideration will result in more effective foundation of these environments. Nowadays, it is utterly necessary to put human aspects at the core of designing these
centers, and through assessing the needs of the children, enhance the quality of these medical centers. The majority of researches conducted in this field shows the functional regulations and physical concepts of the hospital and turns a blind eye on subjective aesthetic concepts and the effects of the stressful hospital environment on the psyche of the
children. Consequently we are witnessing the toll that is being taken on the society which puts the burden on the shoulder of the designers and researchers to pay attention to psychological elements in designing hospital architecture and contain the weaknesses in this regard. The results of the current research suggest that children are attracted to the beauty
of the environments, regardless of the kind of beauty. Therefore, employing beautifying elements, such as color and light, in designing the ambiance can bring about tranquility, joy, happiness and a sense of belonging in the child. The present research is audience-oriented  and points out to the fact that in addition to paying attention to the physical aesthetic aspects in the design of medical center for children, the subjective aesthetic aspects of design are very important as well with a keen focus on the opinions of those who avail of the ambiance. Considering what children need and what is attractive for them in medical environments, a proper arrangement of light for every space and relevant beautifying factors can turn the tense and stressful ambiance of a hospital into a happy relaxing environment. This descriptive survey was performed through oral and practical questions from 100 children of 6-10 years old. The results indicated that color and light play a significant role in children-specific spaces and disregarding them in hospital design will reduce the qualities of environment and treatment.


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