Thinking through colour

12 Oct, 2021
Bright coloured paints

After finding problems with the designs of patient information available in healthcare, Masters student Hannah Sames looked at how painting can be used to improve patient and staff experiences.

Hannah’s research investigated the benefits of visual art and colour for staff and patients, using painting to balance the often-difficult experience of a healthcare journey with a comforting, handmade look.

Hannah used communication design, a discipline that combines design and information development and looks at how the media communicates messages with audiences, and co-design, a process that actively involves participants to ensure the results meet their needs.

Paints and  brushes on a table

She undertook three case studies and developed a research and paint-based toolkit, Thinking Through Colour.

The case studies focused on diverse patient and staff experiences including;

  • The outpatient experience for the Deaf community
  • Communicating with clinicians, stroke patients and their caregivers about setting up telehealth sessions
  • Communicating care to older adult patients in an Assessment, Treatment and Rehabilitation (AT&R) ward.

Wall with painting of green hills

Hannah investigated how painting and co-design might be used to help create a more joyful space for staff and patients in the rehabilitation gym, bringing light, colour and nature to the space.

After patient interviews revealed a love of rolling hills and ocean views, Hannah transformed a wall into just that.

"My hope is to take what I have learned from this experience and transfer that to new projects with a variety of clients. My focus is on working with others who want to use art and design to promote joy, care and understanding or to create solutions to challenges in wellbeing and healthcare contexts,” Hannah said.

Read Hannah Sames’ Good Health Design profile

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