In an attempt to address the sterile feel of lobbies and waiting rooms in hospitals and clinics, a London design studio recently unveiled a very cool concept. Essentially, it’s an interactive wallpaper that turns clinical corridor walls into a magical forest which engages and distracts kids as they journey toward their procedure. Known as Nature Trail, the installation is a 50 meter (165 feet) long corridor that walls part of the Mittal Children’s Medical Centre at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Jason Bruges, head of the Jason Bruges Studio and creator of the installation, claims that “the idea came from remembering walks in my childhood. I loved spotting and following things, those stolen glances and glimpses… I was trying to re-create this with the idea of digital lookout points along the corridor.” Relying on a series of 70 LED panels that house a total of 72,000 LEDs, the walls are triggered by motion sensors and reveal animated patterns in the shape of horses, deer, hedgehogs, birds, and frogs peeking through the foliage and trees.
The studio modeled the critters in 3D before translating them to low resolution to give the creatures an aesthetic similar to an old-fashioned video game character. The creators then placed the LED panels at various heights so kids of all ages, and to take into account being bedridden or in a wheelchair, can access the animals at eye level. The hospital says its young patients have been so entranced by the nature canvas that it will grow to fill more walls by 2017.
As it stands, doctor’s offices, dental clinics and medical centers rely on aesthetics to combat what can only be described as the “clinical feel”. But this concept just may offer them a high-tech option that will put patients at ease through the illusion of a natural setting that is dazzling the eyes. Some might accuse men like Bruges of using technology to anesthetize, but for anyone who has had sick children, its likely to be seen as a godsend!