Experience your Playful Body!
In this way, sick children. for example, can develop a more confidential relationship with their own body – through play.
Emma is in hospital. That is not exactly cool when you are four years old and would rather be in kindergarten playing with your friends. And even though all the doctors and nurses are super-sweet, all the instruments, screens and beeping machines can be a bit scary. For what are they measuring? And what is really happening inside inside my body?
Play lessens the negative aspects of the hospital experience
In spite of all the good intentions of the health service, being admitted to hospital easily becomes an intimidating experience for children. At the hospital children, as well as adults, are confronted with parts and functions in their body that they are unfamiliar with, and many experience themselves as a foreign object in the medical environment. But it does not have to be like that, says Daniel Salazar, who recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Design for Play from Design School Kolding. He has therefore designed a series of playful, digital experiences that will help all of us, albeit primarily children, to establish a better contact with our own body.
Fascinating complexity rather than a disgusting body
“Most of us do not really like to think about what is inside our bodies, especially not during an illness where we associate our bodies with something imperfect, painful, even disgusting. But I would like to create a playful experience that reminds us of the fascinating complexity we embody.”
From heartbeat to hip hop
Specifically, Daniel wants us to experience our body in images and sound. So he has designed a bracelet that measures the body's functions, such as pulse or blood pressure. These data are then transferred to an app that “translates” the heart rate into music and into a visual experience on the screen. And suddenly the abstract heartbeat from a muscle we have never seen has been transformed into something fun, playful, and enjoyable such as music. Furthermore, doctors and nurses are able to monitor the body's condition through the same measurements.
Involvement is meaningful – also in the future
Daniel has collaborated with the children's ward at the hospitals in Viborg, Odense and Vejle. And in addition he has tested his idea on family members in his native Colombia.
“I hope to be able to challenge the prevailing perception in the health system, where a child is just a passive patient. By incorporating play and letting children explore themselves and understand their bodies, we can involve them in the treatment in a totally different fashion. Right away, it makes the current treatment more fun and easier, of course, but in the long term it also helps to shape people who have a more positive relationship with their body!"
Collaboration partner: EON Reality, Viborg Hospital