SIMPLY THOUGHFUL – MORE THAN MEETING THE SPEC
In an era where cars can parallel park themselves and Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, promises delivery drones, why I am still cutting the labels off my clothing? When we have the option of printing labels on fabrics, why are we are still resorting to three care labels sewn into the seams? Often in the most annoying and sensitive places, too.
Sometimes we’re so busy trying to create dazzling ideas that we overlook the opportunity to create something that is simply thoughtful. Simply thoughtful doesn’t mean lackluster or commonplace. Simply thoughtful requires us to do more than meet the spec without getting so carried away with the razzle dazzle that we forget the purpose.
I know creating atmospheres of hospitality has been and is hot right now in senior care. Sadly, this is where some are nailing the razzle dazzle idea, but missing the boat on simply thoughtful. As a Certified Living in Place Professional (CLIPP) and someone who has a background in geriatrics, by way of my previous career in Speech-Language Pathology, I can confidently say there are features of functional living that are directly related to aging that are overlooked when creating interiors for senior communities.
Thoughtful innovation in senior care demands that we empathize and anticipate. One example of this is how we specify our choices in flooring. There are so many factors that must be addressed in the selection of flooring. I don’t want to get into those here; but, what I do want to address is how someone with vision impairments sees the flooring options the design industry is specifying to be installed.
Pattern in carpet is the rage, in an effort to create the “hotel” look. Unfortunately, it is also a characteristic that very few are considering beyond the aspect of style. Flooring with large bold patterns can create confusion, vertigo, and instability for people with low vision. Consider someone that is already unstable on their feet navigating on a carpet that is morphing into a pinwheel. Consider a person with macular degeneration, walking into the room and adjusting to the carpet in the photo below. HOLES, HOLES, and more HOLES. While aesthetically beautiful, this design just doesn’t meet the standard for simply thoughtful, nor does it empathize or anticipate.
The Grandview Terrace Health and Rehabilitation
I’m all about creating beauty, but that’s not where it ends or where it begins. Just because it’s pretty, doesn’t mean it’s practical or safe. Interior design is so much more than art. It’s a beautiful marriage of art, science, and psychology. When it’s done right, it’s simply thoughtful, empathetic and anticipatory, which will most likely, also lead to innovative.
Grace and Peace,
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