Here’s an old poem I recently resurrected. I wasn’t able to find the newspaper article that inspired the poem (too old, I suspect), but I did find the research on the fact that a view of trees helps hospital patients recover. It was conducted by Roger S. Ulrich, a professor of architecture, a fact which alerted me to a whole branch of architecture which I’d had no idea existed–and which I’m very glad does exist, since its goal appears to be to make buildings more humane for the humans that inhabit them.
Ulrich’s landmark study* compared recovery experiences of two groups of patients who’d gone through the same surgery. One group had view of a wall; the other group had windows that looked out on trees. Guess what? The patients who could see trees had shorter hospital stays, needed less potent pain medication (and less of it), had fewer complications, and complained less about their nurses than did the patients who were looking at a brick wall.
I love this.
Unfortunately, a lot of hospitals still haven’t quite learned it. Last time I had to stay overnight, which I guess was for my second knee replacement surgery back in Dec. of 2009, my room had a lovely view–but I couldn’t see it. Some complicated computer terminal had been set up in front of it, where the head of the bed should have been, so I saw a big black computer screen, and beyond it–yes, a brick wall.
(click to see the poem)