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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Transforming treatment into play

Compiled by Team IAnD
Photography: Mike Bink; courtesy v2com
Read Time: 3 mins
"COACH Tinker imagineers indiaartndesign"
The open waiting area is full of stimulating elements    ©Mike Bink

COACH is a playful, action-packed creative project and a strikingly innovative response to contemporary issues regarding healthy behaviour and lifestyle changes at a young age. 

Nominated as the best Interior Design and Arts project at the European Healthcare Design Awards 2018, the interactive and playful Centre for Overweight Adolescent and Children’s Healthcare (COACH) of the Maastricht UMC+, The Netherlands challenges current conventions in healthcare design and services…

"main interactive wall COACH Tinker imagineers indiaartndesign"
The information is truly brought to life here - in a light, non-patronising way. We deliberately placed some of the touch points higher on the wall, to encourage children to involve their parents in the game.    ©Mike Bink

Design approach: transform treatment into play
The experience architects of Utrecht-based Tinker imagineers understand the desire for play. The urge for activity should be supported with stimulating interactive architecture. For the temporary location of COACH, where medical staff coach kids to live a healthier and more active life - Tinker imagineers made a stimulating environment that seems miles away from the world of doctors and hospitals, but does not look too “sporty” or competitive either. 

"COACH logo and health game Tinker imagineers indiaartndesign"
Graphic logo of COACH incorporated in the wall                                                              Health game: cooperate to create the right healthy connections   ©Mike Bink

“Finding the right look and feel for such an outpatients’ clinic is a delicate matter”, states creative consultant Ralf Lambie. “We came up with a set-up that matches the mission of COACH to empower children and young people: ‘finding their greatness’.” 

At COACH, play is half the treatment. Consultations and weigh-ins take place in colourful, soundproof pavilions scattered around two central squares, while intersecting lines and surfaces are reminiscent of a mash-up of various playing fields. In the open waiting area, where nobody actually waits, “treatment” starts before the appointment does. The number one stimulus is the fact that you can’t sit down and wait for your turn because the waiting area has been changed into a playground. There is an array of interactive games that require stretching, climbing, swinging, riding, moving, and working together. They can, for instance, try to keep their balance while collecting the healthy products falling down on a display. Or stretch and work together to make the right connections to switch the lights on. 

"treatment vis play COACH Tinker imagineers indiaartndesign"
Bringing the animations at the interactive wall to life will help children become aware of a healthy lifestyle.   ©Mike Bink
"sensors in wall respond to touch COACH Tinker imagineers indiaartndesign"
‘Did you know that breakfast is the best way to start the day?’ A sensor in the wooden wall responds to their touch, and an animation projected on that wall provides the answer.   ©Mike Bink

An interactive wall introduces the participants to the world of COACH. Children are asked questions like: “Did you know that breakfast is the best way to start the day?” or “Did you know that your body is like a rechargeable battery?” A sensor in the wooden wall responds to their touch, and an animation projected on that wall provides the answer. The information is truly brought to life here—in a light, non-patronising way. Some of the touch points are deliberately placed higher on the wall, to encourage children to involve their parents in the game. 

"different shapes pavillions COACH Tinker imagineers indiaartndesign"
The spatial and graphic design are play-based and refer to mixed-up playing fields.   ©Mike Bink
"pavillions COACH Tinker imagineers indiaartndesign"
Suitable for children and young adults   ©Mike Bink
"healing the overweight COACH Tinker imagineers indiaartndesign"
Every pavilion varies in shape, colour, and furniture. These alternative consulting rooms are not standard issue rooms; they are all different from each other, with an informal vibe.    ©Mike Bink

Every pavilion is varied in shape, colour, and form and has different seating and standing furniture. The pavilions are constructed with an eye for detail: unexpected touches of colour and remarkable constructions. To stress the pop-up character, the structures are made of unfinished wood and the pipes in the ceiling are still visible, with the light plan adapted to the mixed-up lines of a playing field. The synergy with the builders has pushed the project to a higher level of execution.

"playful interactive centre COACH Tinker imagineers indiaartndesign"
Suitable for children and young adults   ©Mike Bink
"game COACH Tinker imagineers indiaartndesign"
Make the right, healthy connections that will switch on the lights   ©Mike Bink

Successful approach
The design approach and strategy of the programme has proved to be successful: 70 percent of the participants lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle under the supervision of COACH.

The program’s founder of COACH, paediatrician Anita Vreugdenhil, states: “In the interactive environment, children feel at home and tend to start exploring. They learn about a healthy lifestyle without any pressure. The room does not refer to a hospital environment, and the playful consulting rooms help us to keep it light. As a result, the children and their caretakers feel at ease drawing up a treatment plan with us.” 

"made comfortable with overweight COACH Tinker imagineers indiaartndesign"
70% of the participants lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle   ©Mike Bink

Fact File:
Client: Maastricht UMC+
Interior and experience design: Tinker imagineers
Game development: Tinker imagineers
Decor construction: Landstra & De Vries
Interactive software: Shortplay
Size: 400 sq. m.
Location:  Maastricht, The Netherlands




   

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