At Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, a children’s hospital, designer Jason Bruges has installed an interactive exhibit that is truly on a child’s level. Bruges embedded 70 LED panels comprised of 72,000 LED lights in the walls of a long hallway leading to an operating theater where young patients undergo anesthesia and then surgery. On the walls, Bruges applied custom-designed, graphic wallpaper. The display is called ‘Nature Trail’ and animates different scenes and animals from nature using light patterns. As the animals move through the forest, the children trace their movement through the corridor.
“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 were placed at various, low-level heights throughout the hallway. The light patterns, along with the wall paper, create the effect of movement through the forest. At low heights, the display is accessible to young patients, aged 1-16 years old, allowing them to move with the animals and engage with the magical lights. The aim of the ‘Nature Trail’ is to distract young patients from their upcoming operations and to temporarily relieve them from their anxieties.
This project is exemplary for a number of reasons: it is an innovative implementation of affordable technology in an existing environment; it creatively services and meets the needs of its target audience; it reflects a strong relationship and thoughtful collaboration between a designer, the participants, and a philanthropic organization; and it offers a replicable model, not only for hospitals.