Healthcare, Research, Strategy


How might we create a space that would better support patients and caregivers seeking privacy by providing them with more agency over their environment?


The hospital is a public space with little privacy, yet it is a place people experience extreme emotions. The hospital’s main duty is to assure quality care, but it should also answer to the social needs of the people within the hospital from patient to care giver. The hospital should provide spaces where one can experience peace, grief, happiness and fear. 

Our design team looked at privacy and agency over their environment as services. We looked to existing subtle expressions of agency in the hospital as inspiration – a light switch in the chapel providing control to the music or chairs in the pavilion area with wheels so that they could be moved depending on their use and the day’s events.

MSKellaneous, a design-research brief, suggests a series of physical inventions that make up a variety of touch points in the pavilion space at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. These included lighting, sound and furniture that was modular and interactive in order to allow modification by visitors to the pavilion. Each intervention is meant to be neutral on their own but once combined with another or customized, these spatial elements can be used to accommodate users in a moment of solitude, happiness or grief. Spatial elements combine to accommodate both a grieving family member looking for a moment of quiet or an energetic patient looking for conversation.

MSKellaneous was developed during an intensive design and research initiative in collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Innovation Lab.

Project Team: Sean Baker / Liz Blasi / Amanda Greenough / Taylor Kuhn