Safe Niños: A Co-Creation Case Study

Susannah Ramshaw
Associate Director
Designmatters
ArtCenter College of Design

Over 7 million children a year suffer from severe burn injuries in Latin America. COANIQUEM, a non-profit pediatric treatment facility in Santiago, Chile that cares for young burn survivors free of charge, partnered with Designmatters at ArtCenter College of Design in the Spring of 2016 to develop innovative interactive environments for pediatric healing. In the Safe Niños transdisciplinary studio, students were challenged to co-create with stakeholders to reinvigorate the six-acre campus with human-centered and engaging environments aimed at optimal healing for patients and their families, and support the holistic medical approach of the center. Designmatters faculty guided students to use various design ethnography tools, from day-in-the-life patient journeys to brainstorming sessions with medical staff, enabling them to uncover insights and opportunities informed by stakeholders’ daily behaviors and activities across campus. Two follow-up field testing trips allowed a smaller group from the studio to test concepts and push co-creation and empathic methodology to arrive at novel, useful and integrated solutions that were ultimately implemented at COANIQUEM’s campus by Summer 2017, thanks to a nearly-$50,000 award supplied by Sappi North America’s Ideas that Matter grant. Patients at COANIQUEM now enjoy a system of environmental wall graphics and wayfinding, an interactive passport and storybook for the 10 rehabilitative therapies, and an area dedicated specifically for teenagers on campus.