Pharmacy Redesign


The main driver behind the Auckland City Hospital Pharmacy redesign is taking the current retail gift shop focus, and making it a health and wellbeing service, decreasing wait times for prescriptions, and providing more nutritional health-based  products. A large part of this redesign is a cost-effective 'quick win'. This is seeing what we can accomplish now to improve the pharmacy's functionality, and later inform decision making around a future-proposal for a brand new pharmacy. 

Using co-design, the team have been incorporating the pharmacy staff in the design process using a variety of tools to engage them in the process.

Pharmacy WIP 7
Pharmacy WIP 7
Pharmacy WIP 1-2
Pharmacy WIP 1-2

The hospital campus in 3D

site plan Recently, two spatial design graduates were contracted to build 3D scale models of the Grafton hospital campus. Two models were constructed: one of the park road entry points to the hospital and the other a 3D campus map.  The purpose of the models were to help the dialogue around establishing the main entrance to the hospital and how this decision affects the campus as a whole.

In contrast to schematics, working with physical models has afforded more useful dialogue around these questions of hospital infrastructure and navigation.

Entrance Entrance2

Aspirational Planning: Grafton Campus

30 years into the future what will the hospital look like? What will be the main access points to the campus and should cars or pedestrians take priority? In what ways can we strengthen links with Auckland Domain? Recently, Architect and AUT Spatial Design HOD Andrew Douglas led a day long workshop exploring options for the Grafton campus site plan. The exercise walked through a number of site analysis visits, researching the history of the hospital campus and sketching and mapping on tracing paper. At the end of the day, the conceptual ideas were proposed to the General Manager of Facilities and Development, to be discussed along side the current Grafton Master plan.

Take a look at few photos from the day:


Header master planning


Our Peoples' Voice

The public spaces discovery week collected the opinions of hundreds of patients, visitors and staff at the the Grafton campus. We have turned these quotes into a deck of cards. The deck is used to help frame up new projects and challenge Lab staff and students at different stages of a project. They are an effective method of engaging with the users of the hospital, and help us to design effective solutions.


Discovery Week: Public Spaces

The Auckland DHB has recently been working on a research project, to understand peoples' experience of the public spaces at the Grafton campus. The Lab has been involved in this project by developing the researching methods used to interview people, and in packaging up/documenting the project. haveyoursay

'We want to discover what our staff, patients, families and visitor’s current experience are of our public spaces within Auckland City Hospital.  We have defined our public spaces to include the main entrances on levels 1, 4 and 5 and the retail space and eating areas on level 5.

We can only get this right if the people who use these places help us design a better place together.

How to get involved

To get this underway we are kicking-off with a Discovery Week 7- 13June.  During that week there will be lots of opportunities for staff, our patients their families and other visitors to tell us: how you currently use the spaces; what you think about the shops and services on offer; how the entrances and exits work, and about the places to eat.

Have your say by completing our online survey  or go along to the interactive workshop for staff on Thursday 12 June 10am to midday.  To book a place with your name, position and contact number.'

haveyoursay2 haveyoursay3

Role-play: Empathy for Elderly

Before After


Honours student Lauren Hyland recently undertook a role-play exercise to help her gain empathy for elderly patients in public healthcare. Much more than a simple exercise in acting, Lauren fully transformed her visual appearance and identity, with the help of make-up artists at BodyFX, into that of an ill-looking, frail elderly woman. Following her radical transformation, Lauren immersed herself in the context of public healthcare at Auckland City's Public Hospital at Grafton, providing her an interactive environment to act out the experience of her users. Lauren reflects on the exercise and her experience below:

This practice-based research project explores the complexity of human needs and social values to assess how physical privacy for vulnerable patients can be improved through a product design intervention. Through the application of Human-Centred and Universal Design frameworks, this project focuses on addressing the needs and values of our ageing population through empathic design.

My key insights were gained through the use of ‘Role-Play’ as an explorative, empathy gaining method. With the help of BodyFX - the make-up & prosthetics specialists - I was able to fully embody what it is like to be an elderly patient by experiencing a day walking in their shoes. I allowed myself to be immersed into the moment - feeling vulnerable, overwhelmed and at times invisible or ignored.  

This has proven to become my most valuable research method to date, providing myself with the experience and empathic understanding for how I might implement a design intervention to better meet the needs of the elderly and ultimately preserve their dignity in care.

These insights reflect a key milestone in my project’s purpose and direction going forward.  With these considerations in mind, I have developed a new problem statement: how might we provide protection and privacy for elderly patients whilst supporting their visibility in care?