Kids Cancer Ward In UK Uses Playful Projected Characters To Engage Donors

April 6, 2022 by Dave Haynes

The digital arts collective Universal Everything – which is not easily explained in a few words (so go here) – is behind a really interesting take on hospital donor walls that marries custom creative with short-throw projection and a mobile app for both controls and donations.

Parade is described as a playful digital donor wall, created by Everyone Forever (a Universal Everything initiative) for the Cancer and Leukaemia Ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, in the UK.

Parade aims to generate funds for The Children’s Hospital Charity. Each character joins the parade through a donation, made at the ward or online. It also offers a much-needed distraction during treatment.

The digital artwork brightens the ward, inviting young patients and their families to enjoy a parade of joyful characters. Watch as 3D animals — including flamingos and elephants — walk by on the wall, as well as more curious creatures designed to capture the imagination. Bringing colour and movement to the space, Parade provides an uplifting, engaging visual experience for the ward’s patients and visitors.

Sheffield Children’s Hospital is one of only three stand-alone children’s hospitals in the UK. Its arts programme, Artfelt, is funded through The Children’s Hospital Charity. It aims to brighten the hospital, make children smile, and engage patients in creative workshops during their stay. Parade was commissioned by Artfelt and created in collaboration with web studio Kleber. Donations will help to fund craft and play activities, updates to the hospital environment and packs for parents.

The human-like walking motion of objects is one of Universal Everything’s recurring visual themes, and has been used as public art on things like huge LED boards in Korea.

I like this for a few reasons beyond the obvious heart-tugging aspects of a cancer ward for kids. It’s not in a lobby, but right on a ward floor. It’s projection, so the technology footprint is pretty minimal. And it solicits donations and rewards donors with acknowledgement right on the spot, instead of hoping people see, enjoy and respond sometime after the fact.

It’s also interesting that the app includes a rule that means the bigger the donation, the longer that generated character stays in the visual parade.

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