Haugstad Møbel – Colour Insight Project

The brief for this project for Haugstad Møbel focused on evidence-based colour design recommendations relating to the design and manufacture of dental cabinets. Specifically, evidence-based colour design recommendations that may help to lower people’s anxiety within the context of dental surgery design.

We were excited to work with Haugstad Møbel. Located in Vigrestad, Rogaland, Norway, there are 4 companies in the Haugstad Møbel AS corporate family, which is part of the Office Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment Manufacturing Industry. Here’s a link to their website.

Haugstad Møbel’s Christian Hesselberg advised that white is the main colour for dental facilities and cabinets in Norway. Hesselberg acknowledged that white may have negative connotations in this context, making patients feel like they’re going to the hospitable for surgery.

Haugstad Møbel is aiming to change this. They’re keen to change people’s perceptions and experience of dental surgeries by reinventing the form and colour of dentist cabinets. Hesselberg noted that this new approach may be problematic due to the conservative nature of dentists in Norway.

Th aims of this research project was to provide colour design recommendations for dental cabinets that are aimed at achieving the following:

  • Encourage engagement
  • Contribute to a sense of wellbeing
  • Contribute to feelings of calmness and relaxation
  • Reduce feelings of anxiety and fear

Aside from contributing to feelings of anxiety and fear, clinical all-white environments can also impact environmental visual literacy. That is, the lack of adequate colour/contrast can have contribute to an unsafe environment. Specifically, colour/contrast clearly identifies and differentiates design elements within a space, making these easier to ‘read’ and understand in a meaningful, safe way.

We provided eight evidence-based colour recommendations that enhanced environmental visual literacy and have the capacity to encourage engagement, contribute to a sense of well-being, calmness and relaxation, and reduce feelings of fear and anxiety.

Image credit: Dental clinic, Tirana Albania by E2 Workshop, principal architect, Julia Buza from Archilovers.com