Happiness is a great healer. We want the stay in a hospital to be a fun and exciting experience for the kids,” explains Tomas Gedda, Head of fundraising at the Foundation for Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital in Gothenburg.
Four years have now passed since Tomas Gedda embarked on the successful healing jungle rooms project. The Foundation funds and provides ancillary services designed to make a child’s hospital stay as pleasant as possible. The thinking is that fun activities, games, and music reduce fear and pain, speeding the healing process.
happiness is a great healer
“Children who are in pain and feeling stressed don’t want to lie there in bare, reverberating rooms decorated in dull colors, with cables crisscrossing the ceiling,” says Tomas.
Tomas Gedda worked in partnership with the management of the emergency department to improve the dreary, somewhat shabby environment that young patients were faced with. “Children who are in pain and feeling stressed don’t want to lie there in bare, reverberating rooms decorated in dull colours, with cables criss-crossing the ceiling,” says Tomas Gedda.
As a pilot project, four rooms in the emergency department were selected to undergo a complete redesign. BittraBritta, the interior design firm awarded the contract, chose a particular jungle or savannah animal as the theme for each room: jaguar, parrot, zebra and chimpanzee. In Siv the zebra’s room, for instance, the wallpaper and pictures on the walls all feature zebra motifs. Each room also contains postcards telling an amusing story about how the animal ended up in this very room.
Acoustics in the Jungle
Acoustic panels printed with motifs of the appropriate animal are mounted on the walls. There is a sound-absorbent inner ceiling, printed with a jungle motif, covering the entire space. A sound loop in each room plays a pleasant background sound from the animal’s daily life. In the zebra room, for example, you can hear the sound of a herd of zebras approaching.
The floor in each room is sound-absorbent, and dimmers help to create comfortable lighting. The furnishings too have been replaced with pieces in appropriate colours and designs. To make the space feel more homelike, medical products and instruments are stashed away in closed drawers. Continuing the nature theme, even the chairs in some of the rooms are leaf-shaped, with organic lines.
“The kids love this,” says Tomas Gedda.
Read the full interview with Tomas and visit the rooms in 360 view – in the new digital ECO Magazine Healthcare Edition (completely free)
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