Recently, it seems the modern depiction of rapid advancement in technology has started to get a bad rap. The media has created dystopian visions of a dust ridden society countered with the sharp, sterile cleanliness of white-walled, tech-driven corporate establishments. Hospitals show no signs of human life, the incessant whir of machines cuts the cold aseptic air, and if the thought of a medication wielding robot scares you a little (yes this really is happening), you aren’t alone. While we’re still far from the bleak image of a cyborg-run society, we have assimilated several of those tech-centric habits into our lives, and that’s not to say it’s all bad.
There’s no arguing that the implementation of technology is a necessity in healthcare, but where is the line drawn? In the excitement of the newest gadget we forget about the holistic remedies that aid us in different ways. Finding the balance of a forward-thinking, futuristic healthcare facility while incorporating natural elements and human connection is imperative. Google street view is now being used to combat dementia; allowing the user to go “outside” and trace the streets of their neighborhood, while still being exposed to a natural landscape. In the same vein, virtual reality is being tested to help alleviate chronic pain; the idea being to distract your brain and in turn trick it into shutting down pain signals to your nervous system. Essentially, the more immersed in the VR, the less pain you feel.
For every new and inventive idea like telemedicine, a hub for doctors to interact virtually with their patients, there are the ones like self-check-in that, if not carefully thought out, can compromise the human connection aspect. Incorporating these technological discoveries into our routines has helped us live longer and stay more connected, but it is important not to overlook the elemental calmness of the circadian rhythm, running water, natural stone, metals, wood, and audial/ visual cues offered by well thought-out architecture. Establishing equity between technology and nature is the remedy to, what is sure to be, an even more automated future.
Luckett & Farley believes in this balance and approaches each project with a unique view of how we can take technology and nature and authentically insert them into an existing ecosystem. Recent projects have resulted in the use of earth tone palettes with touches of natural details throughout, such as etched leaf veins on glass, silhouettes of branches on the walls, and grass inspired carpets. Those design components, along with new and intuitive scheduling technology for patients, are just a couple examples of the detailed design Luckett & Farley embraces. We take pride in creating environments that speak to the human experience by coupling what is new and fresh with elements that speak to us innately.