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Designing Therapeutic Environments for Pediatric Burn Victims

April 14, 2016

The ArtCenter College of Design’s DesignMatters program has conducted a case study at the COANIQUEM pediatric burn rehabilitation center in Santiago, Chile. COANIQUEM provides free treatment to pediatric burn victims in Latin America, where over 7 million children suffer from burns each year and recovery can be a decades-long process. The goal of the Safe Niños project: identifying and addressing the challenges faced by children recovering from burns and their caretakers. One of the key building blocks of the Safe Niños project was forming a connection with the burn victims and their parents:

“Empathy and human connection are the heart of the design process in seeking to create social impact. Co-creation between student teams and the partner community is essential to yield innovation and create value.”

ArtCenter students and faculty spent two weeks conducting design research with the goal of designing therapeutic environments that are welcoming, enjoyable, and interactive. They also led art classes for the children and talked with parents about daily life and their needs. By working directly with pediatric patients and their parents, the ArtCenter team hopes to work towards affordable innovations that have a positive impact on underserved communities.

Read more about COANIQUEM and the Safe Niños project here.