While healing can be slow, frustrating, and a lot of hard work, that doesn't mean that there can't be moments of fun during a hospital stay. Woodland Wiggle, designed by British visual artist Chris O'Shea, is an interactive wall that encourages kids to move and play. Hoping to take their minds off of the task of getting better, plush toys and oversized chairs at the Ann Riches Healing Space in the Royal London Children's Hospital integrate with a television that registers the movements of the children. Able to see themselves on the screen, the patients may paint pictures and play music via their motions, "and trigger sun, rain, snow and rainbows weather effects with animated animal characters across a number of woodland scenes."
Blending technology with art, designer Chris O’Shea has developed an interactive game that allows kids to smile while they heal. Taking into account a wide range of patient types, he ensures that the bedridden, injured, and ill all have a part to play in Woodland Wiggle. The space was created in collaboration with an internal clinical team as well as architects from Cottrell & Vermeulen, graphic designer Morag Myerscough, and textile artist Betty Fraser Myerscough. Animators Felix Massie and Brains and Hunch were also asked to contribute.
In his work, O’Shea strives to fill the everyday with joy and wonder through installations, digital toys, and play spaces. In accordance with his core values that encourage curiosity, movement, immersion, and participation, his interactive wall promotes collaboration with fellow patients, and a place where the unpleasant experiences of illness and injury can be forgotten. Using therapeutic movement to soothe the soul while the body recovers, his efforts are a part of a growing trend to bring play and laughter into the world of medicine.
Images © Chris O’Shea