Patient Room 2020 – patient room of the future?

A Corian product rep sent me a link to Healing Machine – by Metropolis Magazine, which shows the design of Patient Room 2020 by David Ruthven and his team. It features a room design with technology, quality, safety and patient health in mind.

Patient Room 2020

Patient Room 2020 is “a prototype hospital room on display at DuPont’s Corian Design Studio in New York City.” Modern and sleek, the design focuses on minimizing disease transmission and antimicrobial surfaces. Featuring solid surfacing, which minimizes porous materials, the design is sleek and modern, with few corners and protrusions. The open bathroom enables accessibility and provides space for staff to manoeuver around.

Technologically advanced, large televisions display televisions and stats. The headboard connects to a bed that scans the body for information, making tests less intrusive. The panels and the lighting can be update as technology changes.

The last quote is interesting.

“Any architecture is an expression of culture. But in this country there is sometimes a level of denial, an inability to confront things. Maybe it’s just my New Jersey upbringing, but I think trying to trick people into thinking they’re outside in nature when they’re in a hospital is almost patronizing. We’re trying to build a space that represents itself for what it is, without it being cold and sterile.”   ~ Healing Machine, by Ken Shulman

While I agree that the design embraces making a hospital what it is, a healing machine, I believe the design is cold and sterile. Futuristic in its intent, the design’s start contrast of black and white, with glowing LED panels may help staff members diagnose and treat patients, but it will do little to improve a patients’ disposition when they’re forced to lie there medicated during their treatment.

In general, I quite like it’s ingenuity, but I remain unconvinced that it’s a place anyone actually wants to spend time healing.

What do you think?

Cool or uncool? Modern and sleek or cold and sterile? Do you agree that we shouldn’t “trick people into thinking they’re outside in nature when they’re in a hospital? Or do you think, as many designers do, that patients need positive distraction of the outside?

Let me know what you think in the comments below, or connect with me on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

7 thoughts on “Patient Room 2020 – patient room of the future?

  1. Heather, while I am all for technology playing a bigger part in our hospitals and making the stay of their patients easier to cope with, this concept seems so bland and sterile, I don’t know if it would be comforting or annoying and distracting…

    Time will tell, I guess…


  2. I kind of like the idea of a healing pod, like the showed in Prometheus 😉 A truly awesome patient room would be one in which the equipment came home with them. Far too expensive a prospect, but they’re shoving patients out of hospitals so quickly now, the home care crisis is only escalating. Advanced home care options may be the true wave of the future. Just silly thoughts from a SF writer 😛


    • If people could do the beds that sensor at home networked to a doctor that would be amazing. Especially with house calls! Hard to do in a publicly funded system though.


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  4. The more technology that can be kept out of the patient’s line-of-sight, the better most people will feel about their hospital stay. And keep the beeps, buzzes and whirs down to a minimum. They want to sleep!


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