ARCHITECT@WORK 2019: Sustainable Materials for healthcare

Haru tape.jpg

We are committed to increasing the use of sustainable materials in hospitals. In January, we went to the ARCHITECT@WORK 2019 show in Trewman Brewery. The theme of the event was ‘Future proof’ and included a section by Material Driven. 

Here, we reflect on some of the materials at the show which could be theoretically integrated into healthcare environments.

1. HARU Washi Tape 

This is Washi Tape to the max. The tape is made from strong paper fibres which can be used to make geometrical patterns on walls. It is a quick an easy way to bring an instant life to healthcare spaces – especially waiting rooms which are in constant use. 

Like any material entering a hospital, we have to be wary of infection control. Some of the HARU tapes are not resilient to bleach, meaning they are difficult to maintain. However, this technology could be developed for temporary wayfinding. 

2. Graphenstone Paint 


This paint is designed to reduce air pollution. It is a natural and sustainable paint made from lime and graphene which absorbs CO2. The paint is odorless, meaning the room doesn’t need to be aired out during or after application. It is also porous and prevents molding. 

This material is perfect for mural painting in hospitals, which need to be installed quickly so as to not disturb those using the space. Not only this, but they will help to clean the surrounding environment. 

3. TESLER + MENDELOVITCH – 3D Wood textiles 

These designers have developed a way to turn wood into a lightweight, mouldable material. There are quirky alternative to traditional wood panelling methods. They use ethically sourced longwood veneer from providers in Israel and the United States. 

They would be a perfect way to induce natural materials into healthcare environments and are easy to wipe down and install. The 3D wood textile can also be used to create new forms of furniture, or bookshelves. 

Many thanks to Sarah Graham (@sefreebird), CSM Material Futures student, for helping us to realise the environmental duties we have as health and wellbeing designers.

Sophia Luu