The lebanese NGO 'Toufoula' invited me to the Dream room project, in which designers and architects re-design a hospital room for children with cancer. After an enthusiastic 'Hell, yeah!' I came up with the idea to create an environment that the patient could experience on many levels, rather than 'just' a flat mural. Something that addressed their distressing situation in a positive way, without making light of it. I really wanted the room to encourage the kids, and even help in their recovery. My starting point was the reason the kids were in hospital - cancer. So I translated their illness into a narrative, a classic fairy tale struggle between Good and Evil - the body vs. the cancerous invaders. Join the story here! Anti-bodies - the blue blobs - are produced by the immune system, like so. These are the body's first line of defense! There's no time to waste. To the front line! There, the anti-bodies are lined up to load into... .. this fellow. Ready, aim... FIRE IN THE HOLE! The anti-bodies are fired at the cancerous intruder... .. which in this story is illustrated as a dark crystalline shape. I got around the TV's unavoidable position (right in the middle of my layout) by incorporating in the design, as the villain of the narrative. I wanted the room to be an immersive experience. So while the mural was the main focus, as a complement I designed and produced bed covers, pillows, couch throws, curtains and toys.   The toys were hand-made on location An air patrol has sighted more targets. Blobs away! The enemy is persistent... ..but reinforcements are coming to the rescue!
I designed the cupboard doors with the competent help of Makassed's friendly team of in-house carpenters.
it's all handpainted. There are times during every creative project when determination hits a low, and I question the wisdom of it all. This spot-painting session, let me tell you, was definitely one of those moments. Uh oh! Some cancer spores have managed to infiltrate the body's defences - but they're no match for a team of stalwart defenders!     As seen from the entrance. Thanks to Toufoula who organized it, and to the fantastic staff at Makassed who always did their best to accomodate me. Seriously, I couldn't have done without you! I designed a set of colour-it-yourself postcards based on the characters of the narrative. The cards help bored patients stay in touch with their friends, while at the same time encouraging friends to visit. 10 different post card designs for the patient to colour in and send send off to their friends. The recipient becomes so curious about the room, that they will want to visit in order to see it for themselves!
This will hopefully ensure that the patient always has human interaction, which is an important part of their treatment.
The mockup for the mural.