MATER HAEMATOLOGY WARD, NEWCASTLE NSW
Hope lives here...
In 2005, Louise was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, a cancer of the bone marrow. Louise was 18 years old and just days away from starting her first day of university. Within days she was receiving chemotherapy and blood transfusions - commencing a treatment protocol of 36 months.
Some of the hardest parts of her treatment was the isolation, losing her hair, facing the prospects of death, pain management, boredom and losing many friends throughout her journey. At one stage Louise spent more than three months straight in the Haematology Ward at the Newcastle Mater Hospital.
Every cancer patient’s journey is different; we all have our own personal experiences and concerns. We all face this diagnosis at different stages in our lives - cancer has no bias - it can affect any age, ethnicity, sexuality or gender.
More than any time in their lives, cancer patients need hope, joy and care. The burden of cancer can weigh heavily on a cancer patient’s mental health, leading to depression, anxiety, loneliness and sadness.
Through considerate, patient-centred design, we can help patients face these challenges, stay positive, decrease isolation and find purpose.
Hope lives here is a vision that challenges and re-imagines the standards of how we provide and receive cancer care.
For Mark, Michael, Touhy, Jane + Alex
In considering materials for this project, it is important to draw on natural elements such as timber, greenery and stone to bring the outside in and make the space feel more like a home.
Patterns and colour should create interest, visual appeal and calmness without inducing physical symptoms such as nausea and poor sleep.
There should be the utmost consideration to the safety, performance and comfort of materials used to ensure infection control standards and patient safety are maintained.
Hope lives here is a vision that challenges and re-imagines the standards of how we provide and receive cancer care. Patients can stay in these facilities for months at a time, and some young people spend years in the ward. Tragically, for some patients, this is their last home.
Hope lives here is a vision that transforms institutional spaces and inspires patients to feel loved, involved and make the most of life (Miller, 1988).
The vision for the ward is to introduce colour and materiality that promotes hope, joy and safety. Colour psychology has been proven to affect human behaviour and emotion in cancer care.
This design draws on the colours of a sunrise over Newcastle beaches with particular emphasis on the orange hues. In colour psychology orange is perceived to signify rejuvenation, positivity and optimism. Orange can foster encouragement, motivation and drive, and can make us feel physically stronger.