Distinctive Art Source Celebrates 10 Years in Healthcare Art Consulting Business
When Barbara Harriman, IIDA, opened Distinctive Art Source in July 2003, she could clearly see the future of healthcare art. She envisioned a world in which hospitals would no longer be filled with sterile rooms and corridors. Instead, the hospital environment would be a place of healing in which the patient and visitor experience was at the core of every decision. Hospitals would create a visual sense of comfort, familiarity and hope. A decade later, Harriman is witnessing that vision become more of a reality. And her company, Distinctive Art Source, plays a vital role in contributing to that transformation.
Distinctive Art Source celebrates 10 years in business this summer. The Manassas, Virginia-based healthcare art consultancy serves clients from Orlando, Florida to Madera, California and countless cities in between.
DAS works alongside some of the country’s top architectural, engineering and project management firms in the healthcare sector – including HDR Architecture, HKS, SmithGroup JJR, Wilmot Sanz, KLMK, Navigant Consulting and more. Together they’ve transformed hospital environments throughout health systems across the country including Sentara Healthcare, Inova Health System, MedStar Health, Valley Health, Presbyterian Healthcare, Southeast Health, Lake Health, Northeast Georgia Health System, Anne Arundel Medical Center and the National Intrepid Center of Excellence.
Art in healthcare has changed dramatically over the past 10 years. “I remember having to walk into a project and educate the client on nature-based art as a way to enhance the healing environment,” recalls Harriman, president and creative director of Distinctive Art Source. “Thanks to the research and evidence available today, we now talk with clients about how healthcare art programs can support evidence based design initiatives. We introduce patient based art programs that include dynamic art elements, create community partnerships and feature works by local artists. We now talk of how art programs can visually support our client’s mission and goals while creating a integrated exterior and interior visual experience.”
The era of the clinical, sterile healthcare environment is gone. Hospital leaders today are building facilities that incorporate nature and create a feeling of serenity while giving thoughtful consideration to the creation of purposeful art programs. “I am sincerely grateful to all of our clients for their faith and trust in DAS,” says Harriman. “But most of all for being catalysts in helping to transform healthcare standards across the country.”