Category Archives: wayfinding

Jason Bruges Nature Trail installation for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital

London based lighting designer Jason Bruges created the above interactive installation, made with over 72,000 LED lights embedded in a custom printed hospital-grade wallpaper, for a 165 ft long corridor leading to the operating rooms at the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.

From Bruges’s website:

“The brief was to design and install a distraction artwork helping to create a calming yet engaging route that culminates in the patient’s arrival at the anesthetic room. Inspiration came from the idea of viewing the patient journey as a ‘Nature Trail’, where the hospital walls become the natural canvas, with digital look out points that reveal the various ‘forest creatures’, including horses, deer, hedgehogs, birds and frogs, to the passerby…. The LED panels are embedded into the wall surface at various heights in order to be accessible to the eye levels and positions of patients traveling along the corridors. Across these digital surfaces abstracted ‘animal movements’ are recreated as interactive animated patterns of light which reveal themselves through the trees & foliage of the forest.”

Pearson Lloyd and Violence in the A&E

There were 57,830 physical assaults on NHS staff in England in 2010-11, and given the NHS’s initiative to design features that minimize violence in the A&E, it’s safe to assume that a disproportionate percent of these assaults took place in A&E departments (A&E, or accident and emergency, is the British version of American ER). The BBC writes that the design counsel and the NHS worked with psychologists to identify six profiles explaining why patients might become violent and nine factors that could trigger violence – such as inhospitable environments. Design firm Pearson Lloyd won a commission to create inexpensive elements that don’t physically create a barrier between staff and patients, but reduce violent incidents. It will be tested for a year at select hospitals. As we noticed yesterday in my post about the patient experience at the A&E, and as is restated by the Design Council:

Patients and other service users arriving at A&E by means other than an ambulance may have significant difficulties in navigating the physical space, and can become lost even before arriving in the A&E department. Once there, they are exposed to a complex system that they may not understand and is frequently not explained to them.

According to an article in Design Week, the new scheme to provide clear, prominent guidance and relevant information to patients and caretakers includes:

A new approach to greeting patients on arrival; a system of environmental signage, called ‘slices’, which gives clear, location-specific information; a personal ‘process map’ explaining what patients can expect from the treatment process; and screens to provide live, dynamic information about how many cases are being handled.

This information will be delivered via a series of narrow vertical information “slices” that can easily an inexpensively be placed in existing A&E facilities, creating an instantly recognisable point for information and communication throughout the department. These sliced could even be placed on ceilings to provide information to patients on stretchers. The Design Council explains:

The visual language was deliberately developed to reference a journey map, with each step represented as a ‘stop’. The stop names can be read from a distance, and the overall process can be quickly understood. If the reader moves closer, they can read the explanatory text and learn more about each step.

Both the BBC and Design Week links include videos about the project that I’m not able to imbed into the post but that are well worth watching. Below is a video from the Design Council explaining the initiative to reduce violence in the A&E.

Wayfinding for Zurich Retirement Facitlity

A unique wayfinding system by designer Tina Stäheli – Shinohara for a retirement community in Zurich. The designer was careful to point out that it is a retirement home – not a nursing home – so the wayfinding is primarily intended for visitors and not residents, who have a good grasp on the space:

“Our aim was to make the semi-public space of a home for the elderly more private by displaying the information in picture frames. The signage system consists of seven modules of frames which can be combined in different ways. Information for visitors is set in a bigger font than information for the residents.”

It’s a beautiful, simple, forward thinking solution but I’d be interested to see what the residents make of it because it has the potential to be disorienting and difficult to extract information from.

(via swiss-miss)