Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Getting down to nuts and bolts

Image: '2001-12-02 01-03 Neuseeland 382' Allie_Caulfield
www.flickr.com/photos/28577026@N02/2795931364


Here are Deborah Davis and my thoughts on the details of the virtual birth unit we are designing for Second Life. This is our first brain storm so I am sure we will make a lot of changes as we go along. I would love to hear what you think, keeping in mind the design features I have talked about in previous posts.

Overall look
We want the building to have a New Zealand feel so we are thinking that we would renovate an old colonial building, so it will look a little like Ffythe House at Kaikoura.
  • not sure about external colour
  • veranda/deck with honeysuckle or similar trailing around it. Here is another view of Ffythe House.
  • sustainable vegetable garden, growing a few simple vegetables that don;t need much looking after - for staff and families to help themselves to
  • flower garden, with water feature and natural New Zealand plants
  • external lighting - solar
Floors
Wooden floors throughout unit. Easy to clean, but can be covered with washable rugs to give more warmth and comfort.

Heating
  • solar heating and hot water
  • under floor heating
  • heating in each birthing room can be altered in the room
  • ventilation eg air conditioning
Birthing rooms

Colour
To create a cosy 'cave' effect.
  • Room 1 - Rose Madder
  • Room 2 - DH Drab
  • ceilings - white
  • skirting boards, windows, door frames - wood
  • must not have yellow paint because it makes the babies look like they have jaundice
Lights
Music soucre
CD player, that can be individually controlled.

Doors and windows
Living rooms

I would love to hear what you think, and if you have any alternative suggestions.



9 comments:

Anne Marie said...

Well this design process is a bit quicker that those in real life involving architects and builders. Really interested in this process so will be keeping my eye on it all.

M-H said...

Just a small point: I prefer to ceilings painted in a creamy colour rather than stark white. It mightn't seem important, but it is much cosier and softer. Dulux Pearl Lustre is a good example of the kind of colour I'm talking about. Also, window frames in this kind of colour make a room brighter than wooden ones do. (Can you tell I've been doing a lot of this stuff lately?)

Sarah Stewart said...

@M-H I must admit I wondered if cream ceilings would be better - less likely to show up blood splatters. But the wood surrounds follow the birth unit design principles ie use of natural textures. I guess if it looks too dark, we can always change it.

@Anne Marie The Birth Unit Design principles that we are using have been put together by a team of people including architects in Sydney. This is the first opportunity to test them - exciting stuff!

Anonymous said...

i like pearl lustre. I don't like the lemon colour suggested ...
What a challenge it is developing a palate with broad appeal. I guess you go neutral palate (except for lemon - chilly colour that) - with the option there for individuals to personalise (bringing stuff from home)- and perhaps a variety of art - to select from - art is very mobile and doesn't have to be fixed. Getting artists involved would be a good way to offer them exposure.
Rae

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Rae, we can always change the colours if we think they look wrong. We'll ask you to come & have a look & give us feedback when there is someething to look at. cheers Sarah

Anonymous said...

cant wait.
rae

Sarah Stewart said...

Email feedback:

liking look of building - ie colonial thing, timber floors - all fit my personal taste...outdoor option great. Hate the lemon though - so heres my question (and i have no answer so keen to hear your thoughts...) ...how do you get around the issue of personal taste in a space like this - that has to be kind of universal? This is something that totally baffles me and I'm keen to hear your strategy.
Your vision looks lik it is trying to be tasteful and clear of clutter etc - which I endorse as when I toured birthing units last yr - oe in particular was so laiden with personal touches it felt really claustraphobic to me and was not appealing at all.
How do we enable women to "not feel like a stranger" in a strange place do you think?
I think its a real challenge. good luck

Sarah Stewart said...

Email feedback:

this one occurred to me while on luxurious holiday in luxury house in wanaka having a shower - women need a luxurious spa type feel to support them thru birthing. Think luxury health spa....you know men would have had this years ago! Big fluffy towels, bathing, heat, massage, oils, big huge walk in showers....less of the practical hospital-ish stuff we expect and more of the hotel, spa, luxury stuff that people seek out for normal nice events like honeymoons, romantic getaways and stuff?
For us midwives an environment like that might be more suggestive of relaxation, well being etc than the usual hosptialised environment that screams routine, bustle and all those other hidden pressures and agendas.
rae

Sarah Stewart said...

Email feedback:

I am dreaming of birthing spas being the new way to go....its a great idea as it will appeal to the consumerist lot who get channeled into high tech birth buildings....and it just sends a more wholesome message to all of us about the place of birthing and women....
Its the future sarah – make it happen – make it lavish!
Rae


Thanks for the feedback, Rae. I think you've got an excellent point, about the appeal to the consumerist. How put off would women be by the 'simple' approach?