Design experts advise Young Foundation on plans to set up Institute of Healthcare Design

Helen Hamlyn Centre director Jeremy Myerson, Kingston University Professor of Design Hilary Dalke and Sir John Sorrell have been advising The Young Foundation on its plans to establish an Institute of Healthcare Design.

The trio attended a meeting last month about establishing the institute as a way of raising standards of design in the health sector through research, advocacy and consulting. They joined Design Council health programme manager Chris Howroyd and other architects, construction and healthcare experts at the inaugural meeting.

’Healthcare design in the UK is pretty poor, and while there are some people doing great work they tend to work alone. People don’t know about them and there is a lack of shared learning,’ says The Young Foundation Health Launchpad senior associate Jacques Mizan (pictured). He says, ’The institute would be a central organisation that pools learning and helps people in the field to be better informed and more adventurous.’

The Young Foundation intends to kick-start the institute, which would later be led by ’perhaps four people eminent in any of the fields of architecture, design or healthcare, at chief executive level’. Dalke is advising in her capacity as director of Kingston University Design Research Centre, which has published work on design in healthcare. ’At the meeting, there were lots of us, all coming at the idea from different angles, which was good,’ she says. Mizan is encouraging healthcare designers to contact The Young Foundation over the coming months. He is particularly interested in talking to co-designers, and has been in touch with consultancy Think Public.

Mizan says, ’There is a central role for designers to work with communities as part of the institute, to understand what kind of environment works and to create prototypes.’

They would operate as part of the consultancy faculty of the institute, which would offer full design and build services to healthcare bodies.

Ultimately, Mizan hopes that the institute will influence Government policy in healthcare design.

Once plans for the institute are firmed up, The Young Foundation will start looking for funding, and ’could be up and running by the end of the year’, says Mizan.

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