Let’s start with your role as Lifestance Health’s Director of Space, where you have the enormous task of redesigning hundreds of locations across the country. What was the atmosphere of these spaces, both before and after?
Lifestance Health acquires, merges with, and builds its own clinics to compose a large ecosystem of mental health providers — which allows them to in turn make care more affordable, accessible, and universal nationwide. Today there are more than 450 locations and growing. Mental health care spaces, and providers for that matter, have historically been very fragmented in this country. The environments have such range: dated, overly sterile, and lacking in professional integrity — while the providers are many times isolated, practicing alone, with little to no business and professional resources. Our task is to create consistent, compassionate, human-centric environments where wellbeing and comfort are at the forefront of the patient experience, while providing a place of community and support to the clinicians.
What kinds of features define compassionate, human-centric design? Can you describe the look and feel?
We know that a sense of hospitality can seismically improve quality of care. We really focus on simple patient comforts founded in the psychology of sensory experiences. One is what we call trueness to materiality, where our human receptors highly prefer the natural look and feel of sustainable, organic materials, rather than plastics and other synthetics. Our forms also veer toward the organic and away from angular, hard edges, and we lay out spaces symmetrically so that they’re easy to navigate. These are simple things that you wouldn't see or notice but form an innate part of our brand DNA.