Be Like Bobo

The aim of this project is to study how play can create an Optimal Healing Environment (OHE) for children in hospitals. The final outcome is an interactive play structure that teaches children how to stay healthy.


Interactive Play Structure




A healing environment can be described as an all-inclusive environment that accelerates patient rehabilitation. In contrast to medical treatment, healing is a psychological concept of health. In the United States, the Samueli Institute, a medical research organization exploring the science of healing has developed the “Optimal Healing Environment” (OHE) which it described as “the social, psychological, physical, spiritual, and behavioral components of healthcare support and stimulate the body’s innate capacity to heal itself”

In fields such as architectural and urban planning, children and adolescents are often overlooked, even though they are typically more sensitive to environments compared with adults. Since young children are more dynamic than adults are, additional considerations should be incorporated in healthcare for children. Young children spend a lot of a time playing games, so non-pharmacological intervention measures can be effectively applied among them.

One of the best forms of play is free play, where children don’t have an organized timetable of what they are doing for playtime. Free play involves parental supervision depending o n the age of the child. It is a great way for children to tune their focus on creative thinking, which enables them forget what is troubling them. It also helps them become a confident, empathetic, self-reliant and encourages problem-solving. Free play allows kids to develop emotionally, too. They think about how to respond, since they are putting themselves in situations that they have created. It may help reduce some anxiety disorders in the future as well.

Considering the benefits of free play and healing environment individually, this project explores the outcome of an interactive installation combining the two.

Below is a mood board of how the installation was visualised.

Target age group: 3 – 7 year old children 

Children in this age group gain enduring ground in subjective improvement. Not only would they be able to tally, name hues, and reveal to you their name and age, they can also settle on a few choices all alone, for example, picking an outfit to wear. Preschool-age children comprehend essential time ideas and sequencing (e.g., prior and then afterward), and they can foresee what will occur next in a story. They additionally start to appreciate the utilization of humour in stories. Since they can think symbolically, they appreciate role-play and creating elaborate characters and situations. A standout amongst the most widely recognized cases of their intellectual development is their blooming curiosity. Preschool-age youngsters love to ask "Why?”.

The idea was to design an interactive installation in a hospital that teaches children some good habits that will help them build their immunity. This concept was chosen because children are receptive to good habits when they are sick. The concept was going to be represented in the form of a story with a character because children relate to a story when there is a character involved. The character was a strong and healthy dinosaur named Bobo who was going to inform children about how he stays healthy. 

The installation is a chain reaction, wherein you roll a ball from the starting point and the ball goes through a path with some obstacles. A chain reaction was chosen because it was a repetitive action meaning, every time the chain reaction gets over, the child has to restart it. Through this method good habits are reinforced in a child's mind. The images below show the movement of the ball through the installation. There are also multiple entry points to make the play more interesting. 

Installation 1 - Sleep for 10-13 hours every night

Installation 1 - Sleep for 10-13 hours every night

Final Interactive Installation

Movement of the ball and interaction points ​

Visualisation of the installations within a space