blue agate reception desk modern design

Using Agates to Add Sophistication to Healthcare Environments

Our connection to nature is key to our mental and physical wellness.  So how can nature be incorporated into modern design in a way that is fresh and unexpected while still providing the benefits of healing nature images?  Agates.

blue agate

Agates are a modern way of incorporating the natural world into the built environment and they have become increasingly popular with interior designers.

In a recent article in Gotham magazine, designer Jennifer Rober talks about how using “organic textures and nature-inspired colors,” like agates, “literally ground you and bring you back to earth.” 

This idea of connecting us to nature in indoor spaces is the essence of biophilic design.

In his research, Stephen Kellert talks about the importance of using Indirect Experiences of Nature as a method of biophilic design, when things like live plants can’t be included in an environment’s layout (think of sterile healthcare settings).  Agate images meet several of those indirect requirements:

Agates add earthy, organic elements to indoor spaces while at the same time creating unique and sophisticated focal points.

Agates can be more neutral in order to blend in with specific color palettes . . .

. . . or they can be bright and bold, incorporating focal points with stunning pops of color.

Vector graphics based on Kurt’s agate photographs are another unique and popular choice!

No matter which type of design you’re hoping to achieve, Kurt has a varied collection of agate images that can be used for smaller framed or canvas prints or that can be enlarged to cover an entire wall. 

Rober goes on to describe these kinds of natural textures as “a sort of visual meditation to calm the senses.”  And that is what makes agate images the perfect addition to creating healing healthcare spaces. 

Not only do agates’ unique patterns provide beautiful textures and warmth, but they are also striking examples of how nature images can sometimes surprise those viewing them.  We’ve seen the reactions firsthand as patients and staff linger on the vivid colors and shapes.

And isn’t that the goal of any artwork?  To engage the viewer (and when considering healthcare environments, distract them from the anxiety of of a doctor’s visit)?

Written by Kurt Johnson Photography