Author to discuss effects of interior design on health, wellness at CSU event

When a patient is in a medical facility, having family and friends nearby provides crucial support, but if the hospital room is not designed in a way that makes those loved ones feel comfortable, they are less likely to stay long, and the patient loses that support system.

One of the nation’s experts in the field of interior design for health care facilities will talk about this and similar issues when she visits Colorado State University as part of the 10th annual Executive in Residence program hosted by the Department of Design and Merchandising.

Rosalyn Cama, president of the evidence-based health care interior design firm CAMA, Inc., in New Haven, Conn., will speak on “Life Indoors: Interior Design’s Impact on Health and Well-Being,” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, in the Clark Building, Room A202.

Cama said that as humans have evolved from having a primarily outdoor existence to one in which we spend 90 percent of our time indoors, the design of our man-made spaces is more important than ever. In the case of health care, patients often need family and friends not just for support, but to serve as advocates, and if medical facilities are not designed to accommodate a companion who needs to spend the night, for instance, that can have serious negative effects on the healing process.

Cama said her presentation will focus on how this interior design affects human behavior, whether we are learning, healing or playing.

“It’s about how to create optimal life patterns indoors,” she said.

Her talk will be posted at

Cama, who wrote the book Evidence-Based Healthcare Design in 2009, has served as president of the American Society of Interior Designers, (ASID), is past chair and trustee of ASID’s Foundation, and currently serves as chair of the board for the Center for Health Design. She holds a Bachelor of Science with distinction in interior design and textiles from the University of Connecticut.

Cama has been a practicing health care designer for 30 years, and has worked on projects at facilities around the country, including Yale-New Haven Hospital, Baystate Health System, Dublin Methodist Hospital of OhioHealth, The American Cancer Society and Hope Lodge and the University Medical Center at Princeton.

The Executive in Residence program brings an industry leader to campus annually to share expertise with students and faculty and alternates each year between interior design and apparel and merchandising. The program brings executives to campus to provide perspective on the future of their field, expand students’ perceptions of career opportunities, encourage students to be proactive about their career paths and provide input to curriculum planning.

The Department of Design and Merchandising is in the College of Health and Human Sciences at Colorado State University.