"Little as we know about the way in which we are affected by form, by colour, and light, we do know this: that they have an actual physical effect.  Variety of form and brilliancy of colour in the objects presented to patients, are actual means of recovery".  Florence Nightingale, 1860.

Sian Tucker ‘Falling Leaves’, Atrium at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London

Director Jane Duncan’s previous background research in colour and design for healthcare forms a significant cornerstone of J&D Design.

Jane has worked extensively in the corporate, private and public sectors as an advisor, including the bidding process for hospital PFI schemes. At Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, funded by The Kings Fund, she collaborated with a Neuroscientist pioneering the worlds’ first scientific study of ‘The effects of the Visual and Performing Arts in Healthcare’. The results of this ground-breaking research have been published and used to advocate to government and other stakeholders, the potential health and cost saving benefits of integrating appropriate colour, art and design into the built environment. Part of the research in collaboration with Leeds University included a colour study of her mural designs for the Hydrotherapy unit and a further study using a screen designed in two optional colourways to screen off the emergency equipment in the labour and delivery rooms. Both studies used commissioned artworks by Duncan (a mural in hydrotherapy and a screen in the labour and delivery rooms) to investigate if the colours and designs had any positive emotional effect on patients. The colours in hydrotherapy mural correlated with stimulating action and movement, and the presence of the screen evidenced a lowering of labour by 2.5 hours and requests for analgesia reduced by 7%.

Published research by Jane Duncan

Duncan J. The Effect of Colour and Design in Hydrotherapy. Kirklin D, Richardson R (Eds) ‘The Healing Environment: without and within. Royal College of Physicians London, 2003.

Duncan J. The effect of colour and design in labour and delivery: A scientific approach

Optics & Laser Technology, Volume 43, Iss 2, Colour in Applications in the Environment, Pgs 420-424, March 2011.

Staricoff R; Duncan J. ‘The Art of Healing’ Hospital Development: August 2001. ‘A study of the effects of visual and performing arts in healthcare’, Hospital Development: June 2001.