ARCH Design's objective was to support an enhanced patient experience by developing a localized artwork program representing the region's culturally diverse population, creating comfort and connection through relevant and familiar imagery. Evidence-based design guided the artwork selections by focusing on how it would impact both patients and caregivers.
Monument Health Rapid City Hospital sought to expand its capabilities to provide care for a growing population in South Dakota. The project included the addition of patient beds and private rooms, an expanded emergency department, integrated physician spaces, connected parking, and improved wayfinding. The goal was to create a more patient-centric environment by representing the people and culture of its local community. Following an evidence-based design (EBD) approach, ARCH Design expanded upon the concepts of local nature-based art to create a comforting and cohesive environment that resonates with the regional population.
ARCH Design aimed to create an artwork program reflective of the surrounding area to engage and honor the community, improve wayfinding, support a comfortable healing environment, and increase patient satisfaction. It was essential to reflect the vision developed through design and architecture to ensure consistent and cohesive results. Our challenge was to incorporate artwork that would recognize and honor the diverse patient population, consisting of Native Americans, military families, farmers, ranchers, and more. It was important to identify local artists that could accurately represent the surrounding community. In addition, our research indicated that a blend of nature-based imagery and local artwork would appeal to a broad audience and align with the project goals. We conceptualized a mix of photography, abstracts, and representational art reflective of the region, paired with original art by local artists and photographers. Our team carefully planned the artwork locations and color palettes to support improved wayfinding and complement the furniture and interior finishes.
An artwork standards committee consisting of Monument Health caregivers, local artists, and architectural consultants developed an artwork policy to guide procurement. Our team curated the collection in accordance with the policy and collaborated with a cultural liaison that could speak to the various backgrounds of the patient population and confirm alignment with their values and views. Artwork selection centered around the evidence-based design principle that nature-based imagery appeals to a broad audience. We researched and identified numerous local artists to accurately represent the region and Monument Health Rapid City Hospital’s patient population. Each local art display is paired with a plaque containing information about the artist, establishing deeper connections with viewers. ARCH supported improved wayfinding by creating easily recognizable areas. By coordinating artwork with the colored accent walls in the elevator banks on each floor, patients become familiar with their surroundings and feel at ease when navigating the space.
Through research and the application of evidence-based design principles, the project strongly recognizes Rapid City Hospital’s diverse patient population. It enhances the vision developed through design and architecture, thus, successfully meeting its goal to create a more patient-centric environment. Because the improvements have been well-received among the community, Monument Health is currently implementing similar design standards at other facilities to ensure design consistency and increased patient satisfaction across the region they serve.