Rethinking Healthcare Spaces with Playmobil and 3D Printers


Healthcare designers at Stantec, a global architecture and engineering firm brought the new healthcare planning kits to a client in the southeastern United States with an existing outpatient cancer centre that lacked adequate clinical support spaces. The team met with the client to define a program and vision for the renovation, using a mock-up exercise to help right-size the spaces and define a clinic module.

The designers use 3D physical models and Playmobil toy figurines coupled with traditional design tools to put the users in the driver’s seat, allowing them to articulate their ideas and infuse them into the design process and decision making.

The common language was toys and using the figurines and 3D-printed medical equipment, the toolkit allows for healthcare practitioners to lay out a model procedure room on a griddled floor plan, easing the process of layout planning and optimising space.

The team at Stantec assembled this toolkit for a redesign project for the surgery and examination rooms at the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The healthcare space had to rethink the spaces shared by three different departments of specialists with each using the exam room differently. Their design divulged ways the rooms could save some space, by using sliding doors instead of swing ones and have a better comprehension what equipment should take up a permanent position in the rooms and those that can be stored elsewhere.

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