Working within the healthcare sector, the notion of the ‘healing environment’ is at the forefront of Katherine’s design projects.
Katherine believes that environment plays a huge part in the healing process. By creating the most appropriate settings, our designs can have positive impacts on wellbeing and health which will ultimately contribute towards the improvement of an individual’s life.
If you weren’t in this career, what would you be?
It was either architecture or medicine, I think it’s why I have gravitated towards healthcare as a specialism. The ability to help people and make a difference to a person’s life when they are at their most vulnerable has always been important to me.
What is the current big trend in healthcare?
Biophilic design has been a big trend in the healthcare sector recently. It focuses on the connection of an individual to the natural environment. Research has indicated that access to nature can expedite the healing process with benefits such as reduced delirium, reduced lengths of stay, and a reduction in the perception of pain with a corresponding reduction in the demand for medication. It can also have positive impacts on mental health and reduce stress and anxiety. This has been a key driver for our recently completed General Intensive Care Unit (GICU) at the University Hospital Southampton, where the main concept of the design was to maximise natural daylight with light open spaces and ensure that each of the bed bays has access to a view out.
What’s the greatest invention ever?
Audiobooks – I love to read but find I have little time to sit down and enjoy a good book. Since discovering Audiobooks I now look forward to my long commute into the office as I get to listen to some amazing books and don’t miss out on my book fix.