Evidence-Based Design

Therapeutic gardens are a way for patients, visitors, and staff alike to recharge in healthcare settings.

Photo: CelebrationHealth. License: CC BY-SA 3.0.


Have you brought flowers to someone in the hospital? It turns out that this age-old practice is on sound scientific footing: many peer-reviewed studies show that natural beauty helps people heal faster.

When scientific findings are applied in the design of an interior space or building, it’s known as “evidence-based design.” EBD originated in the healthcare industry, where a number of strategies like these can be systematically applied to encourage good patient outcomes:

  • views of nature and natural imagery

  • natural daylight

  • control of comfort, lighting, and acoustics

  • access to the outdoors

  • wayfinding cues

  • distractions and entertainment

EBD is applicable in any building type where specific outcomes can be studied and measured. Here you’ll find guidance not only on what works but also on why it works.