Workshopping Facility Refurbishments

This project focussed on improving a waiting area at the Cancer and Blood service at Auckland City Hospital. The role of the DHW Lab was to facilitate design workshops with clinical stakeholders and Facilities, with a view to develop refurbishment options to improve the experience for patients and families. Building on existing patient research (carried out by the DHW Lab and Performance Improvement) at the Auckland DHB, patients and families had the opportunity to vote and provide feedback on design concepts.


The focus of the first workshop was to establish a shared understanding of the current waiting room experience, in order to distil a set of guiding design principles for the refurbishment. Together with the patient feedback already gathered, we compiled a set of ‘how might we’ statements. These provocations acted as a ‘design brief’ for translating users needs into concepts.


Using scale models and representative furniture blocks, the second workshop began to bring form to the design principles established in first workshop. Participants experimented with furniture layouts using a scale model—discussing how different configurations would improve the room’s function and the patient experience. 

waiting room model.jpg

In a subsequent activity, the DHW Lab team sourced a range of inspiration images around the themes of: privacy, nature, furniture, and activities/interactions. We asked each other, 'which of these examples might be suitable references for this environment?' Using the models as a basis, the two groups annotated their concepts with visuals and notes. At the conclusion of the workshop, two layouts were presented to the public to provide feedback on.

top view model.jpg

The final workshop moved beyond function and layout to explore how the space should look and feel, based on this session the DHW Lab put together a final set of design recommendations to be taken forward by Facilities.  

Concept A render_colour exploration.jpg





STP workshops

The sustainable Transport work stream, championed by project managers Phil Schulze and Ian D'Young and run in collaboration with the DHW lab; recently held three workshops with staff and the public. The workshops were set up as forum for discussing ways of improving transport to and from the hospital campus, with a special focus on public transport options.The three workshops have been full, and has been a great opportunity for the sustainable transport project to understand the stories of our people travelling to and from the campus.

Take a look at a few photos below:

workshop3 workshop2 workshop1


You have just received a phone call and a loved one has been in a life-threatening accident. They are being rushed into surgery, you gather up your kids and rush into the Auckland City Hospital, you are directed to the Level 8 waiting room where you will wait 2, 12, 24, 48 hours while your loved one is in a critical condition.The current space does not efficiently or respectfully cater to the needs of families who are using it. We also observed there is an awkward tension between waiting area and walkway.

A group of our designers, alongside Architect Mel Pau, attended a workshop to create a space that more accurately reflects the extreme emotional needs of its users, whilst functioning as thoroughfare and facility for staff. The exercise involved observation of the current space, brainstorming initial ideas, sketching and rendering the initial concept.

Check out some pictures from the workshop:


IMG_2522 IMG_3320 Level 8 isometricLABELED Level 8 Workshop doc-13

Data Art Installations

The hospital is constantly collecting out data and measures all day, everyday. This data may appear in reports or graphs of performance, but is largely unseen by the the hospital and its users. As a part of the summer studentship running a the DHW lab, students have been asked to consider how data might be made more accessible through creative installations and artworks. Check out the brief they have been given below:

You have been looking for a partner in commissioning an abstract data driven visualisation of what’s going on in real time in our hospital in our public spaces. The data is real time information as being fed from our hospital information showing things like admissions, discharges, transfers, diagnostic orders (labs, radiology), dispensed medicines, surgeries, outpatient visits and other sorts of transactional data. We would be looking to apply patient lenses to this information such adults, children, women, ethnicities, localities, conditions (cancer, diabetes, mental health) etc.

You would see these visualisations continually running 24/7, and include disruptions into the visualisations for exceptional events such as births, deaths etc.

We recently ran a workshop with the students to introduce the brief and explore:

What type of data could be used?

What mediums could be used to present this data? Sound? light? objects?

Where might these installations be placed int he public spaces?

Stay tuned for updates on this project...