At the Royal London Children’s Hospital, patients now have a playground, the centerpiece of which is a giant television the children can interact with. The lively playground has a Pixar-meets-Alice and Wonderland look, equipped with oversized chairs and chandeliers and bright, colorful toys.
The plush toys are integrated into a television game, so the kids can play with both the physical and digital versions. The television game, Woodland Wiggle, allows kids to paint pictures and play music with their movements in a children’s book-style game. The game creators considered the movements that would be the most therapeutic for the patients when designing the game. Artist and creator Chris O’Shea took into account a wide ranging span of patient-types. This includes healthy kids to those who are bed-ridden or those with special needs.
This interactive installation is part of The Ann Riches Healing Space. The space was developed in a collaboration with an internal clinical team and numerous partners such as architects Cottrell & Vermeulen, graphic designer Morag Myerscough, a graphic designer who regularly contributes to the development of public spaces, and her mother Betty Fraser Myerscough, who’s a textile artist. Other noteworthy collaborators are animator Felix Massie and Brains and Hunch, who were responsible for sound.
Click through to see more images of the space.
Technological achievement aside, the Royal Hospital is essentially demonstrating how the definition of health and wellness are changing. Through this game, Mr.O’Shea introduces games that evoke the experience of filling out a coloring book or playing at the arcade with your body. It will be interesting to see how future medical centers are designed once the community at large acknowledges the therapeutic benefits of play.