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After designing and making the Sanctuary Stained Glass window for the Sciennes Road Royal Hospital for Sick Children in 1997, Emma Butler-Cole Aiken was commissioned to lead the design of the reinterpretation of the stained glass window project.

The design of the new window is based on one of the tree forms towards the right-hand side of the old window. The theme is the cycle of life: cell division and new life; hopeful green shoots; healthy leaves of memory; mature, permanent branches; loss and decay. During her research, Emma was struck by how much the old window was appreciated and how important it has been to individuals over the years. Using a similar colour palette and traditional stained glass techniques would anchor the memory of the old window in the new.

In the new window, interesting details and textures have been used to invite children and adults alike to look deeper. Smooth fused glass elements represent cells dividing, and intricate patterns are etched into the glass by sandblasting real leaves; the original leaf leaves its mark on the glass but is destroyed in the process. In painting the window, foliage and other items were used to print onto the glass. Whether people pass by or pause for a closer look, reflections from mirror and lustre glimmer.

Daniel and William Warren of Warren Design have lead the design for the Pod and Waiting Spaces based on the theme of ‘Journeys of the Imagination’. The furniture, graphical illustrations, software and pieces of setworks have all been designed to inspire playful thinking and provide distraction. Early consultation with the play team and other members of staff emphasised the need for engaging spaces that were more ‘after school club’ than ‘playground environment’ encouraging children to stay within allocated waiting areas.  They have designed spaces that offer privacy for family groups that need it, large pieces of set which create a visual impact, table top play activities and hidden magical moments for children to discover whilst they wait. 

Guy Bishop’s mechanical sculptures

In order to create a strong link between the new hospital at Little France and the much loved old site they have used the recognisable Edinburgh buildings and architecture as a starting point and embroidered these with characters, making the space familiar yet dreamlike. Within the Pod, a sense of the city has been created from silhouettes of the skyline represented as wall murals and on large pieces of setworks with illustrations by Emily Hogarth. During a series of workshops at the beginning of the design process children drew their own versions of buildings and characters which Emily then used to create an imaginary city. The Scott Monument turns into a space rocket, tigers and other animals wander through the streets and up on a high ledge Edinburgh Castle transforms into a brooding dragon. 

Within the large structures are moments of discovery. A series of Augmented Reality viewers developed by Touzie Tyke allow children to see some of these characters come to life and move through the actual space. The dragon swoops down, birds fly around and hot air balloons drift up and out of the building. Also hidden within the structures are small mechanical sculptures created by city based artist Guy Bishop. Children can discover what really happens in the cellars beneath the Royal Mile and see local characters such as Greyfriars Bobby, Dolly the Sheep and the Penguin Parade come to life. 

Guy Bishop’s mechanical sculptures

 

Guy Bishop’s mechanical sculptures

 

Guy Bishop’s mechanical sculptures

Working closely with health-care specialist Teal, a range of furniture has also been developed for the project. A high backed sofa offers family groups privacy in a busy waiting room whilst other pieces are informed by animal shapes such as the Deer and Tortoise stools. As well as being practical pieces of furniture they will aid in children’s play and take them on a ‘Journey of the Imagination’ whilst they wait. 

Building on the success of the ‘Secret Garden’ installation at the current RHSC, a team (headed by artist  Alex Hamilton and Dr Oli Mival from the Napier University’s Centre for Interactive Design) have developed a projection system for forty five treatment rooms throughout the hospital which will offer up to twelve hours of tailored video projections for support and distraction whilst patients are undergoing a test, examination or procedure.

The film content was selected in three different ways, firstly through an open submission opportunity whereby artists and filmmakers were invited to submit an existing short film or moving image work for inclusion in the film library.

For the second strand of film library content Matt Lloyd, Director of Glasgow Short Film Festival (GSFF), selected a series of short animations from GSFF’s Family Animation Programme, while Adam Castle, Curator, ran an open call for film submissions for the film library through Edinburgh Artist Moving Image Festival networks.

Finally, a selection of films were commissioned from five artists around themes of nature, animation, abstraction, animals and people.  One film from each of the artist is shown below:

‘Watercolour Island: Kite Flying’ by Jack Lockhart

This film was inspired by the wide open spaces and the ever changing light of The Isle of Tiree’s beaches, and it captures some of the spirit of these special places. Jack Lockhart’s film-making process began with a walk on a beach. He used various techniques including watercolour painting, photography and video to capture images which were then brought together in a collage style using a mixture of editing and animation. Designed to be relaxing and engaging, the film has the feel of a moving painting with brush strokes giving it a handmade style.

 

 

‘Scotland’s Wildlife: Bumble Bees’ by Kris Kubik

Kubik’s short film focuses on colourful, playful bees and other insects. Evoking memories of Summer time, the film is intended to be engaging for young children and bring about positive emotions. Kubik filmed insects, mostly different subspecies of Bumblebees, close up and some of the footage is played back in slow motion to capture their minuscule movements and behaviours. Kubik said of his subjects “they are cute, funny looking, calm pollinators and very enjoyable to watch”.

 

 

‘Elements of Nature: Light’ by Holger Mohaupt and Tracey Fearnehough

To create their films exploring Light, Air and Water, Mohaupt and Fearnehough enlisted the help of a group of children. The children created mind maps for how to film these elements and the different ways in which they appear in nature. They were also asked to think about the ways in which these subjects could be relaxing and calming for children in hospital. For their film ‘Light’, the children came up with the words ‘sun, moon, torch, shadows, Christmas, fairy lights, sun in trees, reflections’. The artists used these words as an inspirational platform for the film. With the help of the children, the film sequences were shot during an outdoor workshop at Jupiter Artland, and the result is a film which is both eye catching and engaging.

 

 

‘Little Edinburgh’ by Nim Jethwa

Nim Jethwa’s short film was created to help patients at the RHSC to engage during procedures. Jethwa uses a tilt shift technique in order to capture a unique ‘toy town’ perspective of the everyday goings on in the city of Edinburgh. The film was shot over seven days in late November from various vantage points in and around the city. No drones were used, instead the artist obtained access to the vantage points from  various organisations and companies who were very willing to help. Jethwa described the filmmaking process as an “opportunity for me to explore the wonderfully multi-layered city”. The musical composition was created specifically for this film by Bristol musician Jilk.

Follow Nim Jethwa – Instagram: @nimvideo / Twitter: @nim_video

DCN waiting areas: Dress for the Weather

Visualisation of one of the proposed DCN waiting areas. Image by Dress for the Weather
Visualisation of one of the proposed DCN waiting areas. Image by Dress for the Weather

Glasgow based design team Dress for the Weather have been commissioned to develop enhanced designs for 9 DCN waiting areas. Dress for the Weather are working to organise any potential ‘clutter’ in these spaces, as well as to provide upgraded furniture, artwork, colour schemes, and additional distraction.

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Artist residency programme

The benefits of the outdoors are well documented, and users of the new RHSC and DCN will have access to 18 of the courtyards and terraces around the building. Working with HLM Architects this project will enhance these spaces to make attractive retreats where patients, families and staff can enjoy fresh air and nature, with different spaces set aside for peace and reflection, social interaction and play activities.

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Programmable spaces

A flexible exhibition wall display system will be created.
A flexible exhibition wall display system will be created.

The new hospitals will contain two areas for changing exhibitions, these include the main DCN Outpatients corridor and Pod Atrium space.

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Snoezelen Room: Southpaw

Visualisation of the proposed Snoezelen Room. Image by Southpaw
Visualisation of the proposed Snoezelen Room. Image by Southpaw

A Snoezelen room is a controlled multi-sensory environment which is specially designed for sensory therapy. The new RHSC Snoezelen room has been developed by Southpaw and offers multisensory stimulation that can be easily adjusted to range from soothing to stimulating depending on need.

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Multi-sensory design and distraction imagery: Alexander Hamilton, Dr Oli Mival and DKAV

Building on the success of the ‘Secret Garden’ installation at the current RHSC, three rehabilitation rooms have been identified across the new RHSC and DCN. These rooms are suitable for immersive interactive technology aimed at enhancing therapeutic benefit. A team headed by artist Alex Hamilton and Dr Oli Mival from the Napier University’s Centre for Interactive Design are developing a sophisticated technology platform which will enable clinical staff and patients to engage with a number of apps through interactive projection. The team are also developing a projection system for many treatment rooms throughout the hospital which will offer tailored video projections for interest and distraction whilst patients are undergoing a test, examination or procedure.

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Bedside environment: DKAV and Ginkgo

Illustration of the functionalities and network of the bedside environment and patient entertainment system.
Illustration of the functionalities and network of the bedside environment and patient entertainment system.

This project enhances the immediate patient environment within each shared or single room through providing the ability for patients to control lighting and temperature along with access to screen based creative content and distraction. Independent audio visual consultant Derek Kemp (DKAV) is currently supporting the team to develop the best approach to providing a versatile patient entertainment system.

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Sanctuary and bereavement services: Sue Lawty and Ginkgo

The interior design of the RHSC and DCN prayer/meditation/reflection space includes an outdoor courtyard. It’s known as the ‘Sanctuary’, designed by Sue Lawty, will be implemented by Ginkgo Projects. Sue has also created a subtle and sensitive design for several rooms within the two Bereavement Suites. The design focuses on qualities of natural materials and a balance between privacy and openness for each space which reflects Sue’s own work using textiles and natural materials.

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