SBID International Design Excellence Awards 2015




Tinker, a design and production agency from Utrecht, The Netherlands, is the overall winner of the SBID International Design Excellence Awards 2015 for its experience design for the Juliana Children's Hospital in The Hague.

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SBID International Design Excellence Awards 2015 Tinker, a design and production agency from Utrecht, The Netherlands, is the overall winner of the SBID International Design Excellence Awards 2015 for its experience design for the Juliana Children's Hospital in The Hague. 

Design and hospitals? As we have already been able to share with our readers in the past (like the works from architectural firm Parkin), there are projects that unite the quality of the space and the details with healthcare facilities, because there is no question that architecture and design have a huge impact on the recovery process.

London's Society of British and International Design (SBID) has announced that Tinker - winner of the “Healthcare Design” section - is also the overall winner of the 14 categories in the competition, conferring the award to this Dutch creative team for its design of the Juliana Children's Hospital in The Hague, The Netherlands.

This project brings to the forefront the capacity of the space to interact with young patients, giving them an experience far from the traditional hospital stay, which tends to be traumatic for children and their families and is often made worse by surroundings that in no way correspond to the real needs of the users.

The Tinker creative agency, or “imagineers” as they love to call themselves are tickled to bits. Stan Boshouwers, partner and director comments: “International recognition on this scale for a meaningful and experimental project such as the Juliana Children’s Hospital feels very special. We hope to set a trend to improve healthcare design with creative technology and storytelling”. Because the whole project started, like the planners told us, under the motto "It has to be fun". Paul van Houten is Tinker's specialist in themed environments and interactive exhibits for children. And above that, he is a father of 3 young children. His first advice is 'use storytelling'. Use the entire space for that and be sure to appeal to the children's imagination and curiosity. 
For the Juliana Children's Hospital every single detail of the journey through the hospital is designed from the perspective of the child. Paul's empathy goes quite far. He wanted for example to lay in a bed to experience the route to the operating room through the eyes of the children. Are they laying or sitting, in what stage of consciousness are they? Are the parents with them or not?

Lieke Neuman designed the 4000m2 wallpaper and she tried to look at everyday items with different childish eyes, like children use their fantasy. She incorporated those everyday objects into the design for the wallpaper, a sponge became a bouncing castle (air cushion), a frying pan a tennis racket and so on. She let the five characters in the graphics do activities like children would do: doing magic / tricks, picnic, playing tennis, discover, playing hide-and-seek.  Everything to get a smile on the faces of the young patients during their often harrowing journey through the hospital, let them interacts with the images and forget that they are in a hospital but in a wondrous world. This helps relieve “hospital” stress, which then translates to feeling less pain and helping recovery.

Livegreenblog has had the chance to ask some questions to Tinker about their design approach and are glad to share the answers with our readers.
"Tinker was asked by MVSA Architects (Amsterdam, NL) to complete their architectural and interior design for the hospital with an experience geared to children. We deliberately integrated their color scheme - with due observance of the Planetree healing concept of patient-centered care - into the experience layer, to have the architecture, interior design and experience layer form a whole. This sense of unity was then intentionally disrupted by the style of the animations. The interior design of the hospital is simple, stylistic and clean, whereas the animations are personal and ‘wild’. The play features, for instance, are white or uniformly coloured on the outside, while children discover a colourful world of wonders on the inside.
We designed the experience as a wonderful journey to and through the hospital. We developed the storyline of the journey, with five little friends accompanying the young patients during their stay. Every character has its own personality, so every child will find one to identify with. The colour and shape of each character matches its primary emotion and its role within the story. This aspect has been extensively researched, focusing on children and the way they perceive the world." 

With the award, SBID has sent a clear, significant signal favouring quality design in healthcare facilities.

Christiane Bürklein

SBID International Design Excellence Awards 2015
Project: Tinker http://www.tinker.nl/
Location: Juliana Children's Hospital, The Hague, The Netherlands
Year: 2015 
Images: see captions – Fred Ernst, Wim Verbeek, Michael Kieviets, Michael Van Oosten
Thanks to v2com


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