Auckland-based design tech studio RUSH is celebrating another distinguished trans-Tasman design award, with its work for Starship Children’s Hospital recognised at the Good Design Awards in Sydney last night.
The interactive, kid-friendly experience RUSH created to help calm children and their families at Starship has received a Good Design Award Winner Accolade in the Social Impact category, in recognition of outstanding design and innovation.
With 34,000 children going through Starship’s emergency department each year, RUSH was tasked by the hospital and its sponsor ASB with creating new and better ways to assess and admit patients, while helping to calm and prepare them for treatment.
With help from its creative partners, RUSH designed and developed two different experiences – the Starship Animal Check-ups and The Magic Forest.
The Starship Animal Check-ups space features a wall of frames with different characters to take children through the check-up experiences and processes they’re about to undergo – such as lions teaching them to open their mouths wide.
The Magic Forest, meanwhile, is an avatar scene experience that creates a calming space for relaxing and enjoying quiet time, with beautifully rendered flowers and birds that react to children’s movements.
The Starship experiences are controlled by RUSH proprietary sensors and an interactive computer vision-based tracking system and were designed following behaviour observations and discussions with play specialists and nurses.
Now in its 61st year, the Good Design Awards have a proud history acknowledging key drivers in innovation, economic growth and productivity. Having a New Zealand studio awarded with this prestigious accolade recognises RUSH as the imperative link between creativity and innovation.
RUSH’s creative director Terry Williams-Willcock says it’s a huge honour to have the studio’s human-centred design ethos recognised at the Good Design Awards: “Our goal with the Starship experience was to create smiles for people going through a distressing situation.
“Our design approach was to empathise, ideate and prototype experiences to ensure they had a major impact on our different audiences and we’re thrilled all this hard work has been given the nod in the Good Design Awards’ Social Impact category.
“However, with our computer vision technology able to track the number of smiles and their duration during the Starship experience, we’re also very proud of the direct impact our designs are having.”
RUSH’s latest accolade follows its recognition at last year’s CX Awards, also held in Sydney, where its development of the Z Energy Fastlane – a real-time cloud platform that streamlines customers’ experiences when they refuel their vehicles – saw the agency win Best CX Partner (Technology or Advisory).
RUSH’s chief customer officer Ghanum Taylor says their latest award emphasises the company’s goal of designing technology to better serve humankind: “We pride ourselves on our design thinking and agile development in creating solutions for customers in a fast-changing world and it’s fantastic to also have these solutions officially recognised by the Good Design Awards.”