As a kid, the hospital is viewed as a place that evokes fear or dread. Although people are admitted to these healthcare institutions for the treatment of various illnesses, studies show even adults are uncomfortable with the idea. An American architecture group came up with a clever solution to help younger patients feel more at ease. They call it Loma Land.

Just like grown-ups, children can feel anxious when they are exposed to something unfamiliar. Nobody wants to end up in a hospital, but there are instances wherein medical intervention is required. As a parent, it is extremely difficult to convince them to calm down, when they feel unwell.

Hence, ESI Design — a studio based in New York and operated by NBBJ — set out to revamp a section of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. Loma Land is a series of displays located in the establishment’s lobby. The interactive installation spans 415 square feet.

According to the team, “Loma Land will greet young patients with an idyllic forest of animated creatures, rustling plants and the gentle sounds of flowing water.” Just like how outdoor enthusiasts reconnect with nature to relax, this digital experience hopes it will have a similar effect on kids.

Three oval-shaped touchscreens allow users to personalize their animal of choice. The options are based on fauna native to California such as a bear, fox, deer, and racoon. The fourth display is designated for one-on-one sessions with their furry pals before they move to the largest panel.

Here, children can then view their creatures interacting with the rest submitted by others. The folks behind Loma Land say they ” looked for inspiration from libraries, children’s museums and games. These cultural media experiences motivated the team to incorporate elements such as character play, active and passive disruption, and collaborative composition.”

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Images courtesy of NBBJ/ESI Design