Color in 2030
For the first time in the history of the United States, "Boomers" will out number children by the year 2030. Those under the age of 18 will be the lesser demographic to those over 65. Should we adjust our hospital color palettes to suite this group of adults?
Accommodating the changing feature customer in healthcare environments will be tricky. I am potentially suggesting that we switch to color that the aging eyes will perceive. There are so many factors to consider; the presence of cataracts, the yellowing of color perception with dementia, and the blurred close vision of presbyopia, to name a few.
Let's see, there could be evidence to design with pops of color to signal changes in wall surfaces. There are also schools of thought to create a black, white, and grey world to make certain we appeal to all people with all conditions. Then there's the contradictory use of red in a healthcare setting. Let's use it, because this color will visually appear more muted to this crowd! More recently, there is the use of the blue color spectrum, now coupled with LED lighting. Does skin tone actually change under these lighting conditions? Perhaps we have pushed the envelope of possibilities far enough.
London designer Adam Nathaniel Furman has applied his signature colourful aesthetic to a tiled entrance and reception area for the maternity centre at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
Let's remember that no two people are alike. I may not see the same hue that you see, but I can appreciate it. I am totally sure that my color perception will never be completely gone! A space devoid of color will bore me to tears. Let's not jump the gun to delete color in the foreseeable future. Let's agree to evolve color into the best application as designers have always done and thereby appeal to all generations.
After all, the most successful spaces and those with color make terrific black and white photos.