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Interior Design Students design for Tau Center for Behavioral Health

julie elliott class

Interior design students in associate professor of practice Julie Elliott’s ID 3752 studio worked with Our Lady of the Lake (Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System) to create design proposals for the Our Lady of the Lake Tau Center for Behavioral Health’s Baton Rouge facilities.

The course’s aim is for interior design students to study healthcare design, using principles of evidence based design, the process of constructing a building or physical environment based on scientific research to achieve the best possible outcomes, in real world applications. The project goal is for students to develop concept statements that “demonstrate the best solution to support evidence based design focusing on health and wellbeing using universal design strategies that support the human condition (specifically focused on behavioral health).”

Designs aim to support and improve the safety and wellbeing of patients, family, and caregivers for behavioral health facilities. Interior design student projects researched current facilities and precedents, and made informed proposals with concepts including furniture, fixtures, equipment, color and lighting strategies, and design elements to create a welcoming environment.

“Students also developed overall color pallets based on evidence based design best practices for behavioral health facilities that promote calming effects on patients, family, and staff,” Elliott said.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the collaboration between OLOLRMC Tau Center and the LSU School of Design studio students,” said Melissa Dugger, MSN, RN, Senior Director of Nursing, Mental and Behavioral Health Division, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. “Successful design of a psychiatric hospital requires careful consideration of many factors. The students took this challenge and created beautiful designs with the patients and care teams in mind. They also incorporated our Core values, mission, and philosophy into their designs. We are working to put some of these designs in place and I look forward to further collaborations with the studio.”

“Our Lady of the Lake and Our Lady of the Lake Foundation leadership and team members wish to share a huge thank you for your hard work and amazing talents that were put into the research and designs of our Tau Center project,” said Teddi Hymel Hessburg, Our Lady of the Lake Foundation. “Your concepts and presentations blew us all away and provided so many elements to consider for the future environment of our mental health patients and their care.”

Healthcare design is an ongoing part of the School of Interior Design curriculum. LSU interior design students have opportunities to work with local community members and stakeholders through design studios that engage with real-life design challenges.