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  • Joan Lotus Cantillas

Playdate

Our team was assigned to design the play space of Rizal Medical Center. And so we thought of designing a place where kids would enjoy – a place they would ask their parents to bring them to have the best time of their lives.

There is a special place in my heart for kids. One of my many ambitions was to become a pediatrician, but here I am instead, studying Interior Design. Don’t get me wrong – I love it! So when the opportunity to design a play space for the pediatric ward of a hospital came up, I grabbed the chance, together with four of my closest friends from our batch.


We attended a Design and Collaboration Workshop wherein we got to see the bigger picture of what Unilab Foundation’s Play It Forward program is all about. More than simply designing a play space, activities were developed for kids to enjoy during their hospital stay to alleviate the pain and keep their mind off of their treatments.


Our team was assigned to design the play space of Rizal Medical Center (RMC). The challenge? It was a small space. It was a room turned play area that looked no different from the rooms that the kids would be confined in. And so we thought of designing a place where kids would enjoy – a place they would ask their parents to bring them to have the best time of their lives.


After a couple of revisions, we landed on a ‘perya’ themed room for kids, where an ice cream cart-looking nurses’ station will greet the kids. Inside is a Ferris wheel that really turns, which functions as a toy storage area; roller coaster-like tables and chairs for their arts and reading area; a carousel for group play activities; and a puppet theater that houses the television and books for the kids. Despite the limited size of the space, we incorporated a variety of activities in different areas, giving them ample space to move around for free play.


Walking into the finished play space, I felt giddy and wanting to be a kid again. Perhaps, that was a good sign. Play is so important for kids that the hospital walls should not confine and limit them from having fun. I hope to visit the place again and see it being enjoyed by the children to help them heal better and faster.

We are truly grateful for such an opportunity to use our skills and talents to make better living and healing spaces for kids – thanks to Unilab Foundation. Indeed, there is so much we can do to extend a hand to those in need.


I’m looking forward to playing with the kids at the Play It Forward play space in RMC.


Lotus is a member of Vier&Ein team of student volunteers from the Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID). They helped design the Play It Forward play space located at the 3/f Pediatric Ward of Rizal Medical Center in Pasig. Her hobbies are reading and traveling.

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