design thinking

Women's and Children's Hospital

The Big Picture. Interior graphic for the Parent's Lounge in the Women's and Children's Hospital Oncology Ward.

As a distinct graphic developed within a larger scheme focused on nature, the parent's lounge presented a unique set of requirements and challenges. Environmental graphics are highly contextual design interventions and the solutions are driven by the nature and function of the space and the specific requirements of the users.

The parent's lounge is a small room tucked off a corridor in the Oncology Ward on Level 7 of the WCH – a place where their child would be staying, sometimes for extended periods, and being treated for serious illnesses. In this emotionally weighted environment the parents are offered a place of respite to withdraw from the issues at hand and to reflect quietly. The challenge for this space was to provide a graphic that supported a reflective process but which could not in any way be construed as patronising or likely to trivialise the parent's presence and use of the space.

The abstract work titled: The Big Picture references the breakthrough moment we experience as individuals when our thoughts and feelings are elevated – when we can reframe the difficult situation at hand and see things in a much greater context. The collection of ornate, gold frames are a thoroughly overstated feature in such a modest room and quickly seen as a parody of the serious. The frames are loosely representative of a collection of perspectives and experiences likely to be present in the room over time. The cloud image speaks discreetly of one whole picture – the large (possibly shared) view that is contained and present in a disparate collection of frames or experiences. The frames become a window with which the viewer can reach beyond and through.

In an interior graphic scheme oriented primarily toward children, the parent's lounge graphic is instrumental in defining an adult space and offering a chance to restore and reframe. A simple, abstract and conceptual scheme that speaks quietly to the parent's in a time of serious reflection.

Award of Commendation.
Design Institute of Australia (DIA)

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