Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico; National University of Singapore, Kent Ridge, Singapore; University of Texas, San Antonio, Texas
Design and non-design students from three universities in Mexico, USA, and Singapore were asked to rate images of visual art (from photography to paintings by great artists) on an emotion and selection scale. At the end of the survey students were asked to rate the images again as if they were hospitalized and lying in a patient room. An analysis of preferences across cultures, design disciplines and empathetic directive was undertaken. There is a high level agreement across cultures on image rating for hospital rooms. Level of agreement for art selection for personal rooms is significantly lower for both design and non-design students. However, design students seem to make a more prominent distinction between selecting art for their own rooms and art for hospital rooms. Emotional and selection rating are more highly correlated for art selection for hospitals, as compared to art selection for personal space. Figurative art rated higher (when faces are not clearly visible) and had more cultural variation than landscapes or abstract art. Landscapes with a high depth of field, bright colors and verdant foliage were rated consistently high across all cultures, regardless of indigenous elements. This argues for certain universality in the emotional response to images. Our study showed that empathy (how this art would make you feel if “you” were in the hospital) is a stronger determinant of selection than culture, or education, when it comes to art selection for hospitals. The critical role of emotion for healthcare art selection is reiterated in our study with university students, currently being replicated in hospital settings.
Published in Journal of Architecture and Planning Research- 2013
Presented by Patricia Ortega Andeane at Environmental Design Research Association Conference-2010
Presented at Design & Health World Congress Conference- 2011