Rachel Moore
Safe Ninos Logo.jpg

Safe Niños

Safe Niños
Environment | UX

How might we reimagine a pediatric burn treatment facility as a magical environment?


Transform the campus into a magical ecosystem inspired by Chile's diversity.


Every great journey starts at Basecamp.

Each element of the spatial program works together to
to create a cohesive experience tailored to diverse users needs.

Spatial Program

A. Private Orientation
B. On deck seating
C. Calming Play Area
D. Greeter Kiosk
E. Active Play Area (Interactive Play Wall)



Engaging in active, interactive play.

The interactive story wall introduces children to the magical
ecosystem as well as gives them a preview of the treatment experience through occupational and physical therapeutic play. 

Connecting families through shared experience.

Comfortable seating is arranged around the play zone
catalyzing engagement between families through
the experience of watching their children play together.


Making room for the human touch.

The reception desk is opened up to allow parents and staff
to connect and engage with each other in a difficult time while
also providing them with a semi private space to go over
necessary documents. 


Blending the human touch with digital efficiency.

The greeter holds multiple important roles within the waiting
room. First they help families easily check into the digital system,
they provide emotional support to families and facilitate
crafts for the patients. 



Through multiple grants some of the graphics have
been implemented at COANIQUEM.


Every great journey starts at Basecamp.


Project Details



COANIQUEM has been providing free healthcare to all of South America for 36 years. In spring 2016, eleven students lived, worked, and dreamt with COANIQUEM's medical staff, patients, and families.

To complement COANIQUEM's holistic approach to healthcare, students restructured the course to co-create curriculum and deliverables with faculty, subject matter experts and users to reimagine COANIQUEM's pediatric rehabilitation facility.



Anxietyboredom and sterility compound the already complex spectrum of emotions at the initial treatment touchpoint.


What if we reimagined the waiting room as an engaging, efficient, welcoming — and even magical — environment for patients, parent and staff?


UX Design


Rhino and Vray
Abobe Creative Suite
Field Research

Collaboration with

Nicholas Jayanty, IxD
Dave Hansung Kim, Product Design


Project Timeline

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Field Research Overview


The surgeon is not the protagonist,
the child is.


Subject Matter Expert Interviews

Stakeholders included:

  • Staff, patients, and families at COANIQUEM
  • Scott Flora- Co-Founder of BLIK and designed the environmental graphics at the UCLA Mattel's Children Hospital 
  • Kelley Carroll- UCLA's Child Life Program Manager
  • Bruce Vaughn- Chief Creative Disney Imagineer
  • Dr. Esther Sternberg- Healing Spaces
  • Long Beach Children's Hospital

Through these multiple stakeholder interviews that main conclusion supported creating opportunities for  the patient to reestablish trust in themselves and with others by putting them in control of moments throughout the day.

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Treatment Journey

Following the burn event:

  • optimal healing occurs during moments of acceptance around the event and the injury
  • patients experience a recovery period averaging 12 years 
  • the child and parent share:
    a parallel journey of grief –
    rejection, self blame, 
    depression, acceptance
  • parents lose trust in child and self
  • children lose efficacy and control

Cultural Model

To synthesize the insight we gained from stakeholder interviews at COANIQUEM, we mapped the cultural and social values we came across.  We looked at staff, patients and parents as both users and stakeholders given the universal contribution from everyone involved. 

Fifty percent of COANIQUEM's patients all donate time to COANIQUEM's annual fund raising efforts through door to door outreach, a majority of their physicians volunteer, and their staff also donate to the foundation, all direct examples of the core internal values of solidarity, human compassion, resourcefulness
and optimism


We're fighting a war on pain.


Kids grow, scars don't.

Treatment is incredibly painful as therapists work to break down scar tissue masses also known as contractures.  Contractures impede movement and malform growth.

The success of each treatment session depends on the emotional outlook of the patient.

To explore how play could be used to introduce treatment, a number of prototypes that blended therapy movements with skill building games were tested in the studio then brought to the field. 

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A magical ecosystem.

Each treatment requires a specific point of view to maximize.  It requires patients to learn life lessons that lead to successful therapy sessions.  The treatment team is more than a clinical staff, they are mentors and guides.

In collaboration with staff and patients, the design team co-created a cast of animal characters to support Santi, acharacter used by COANIQUEM in their wildly successful annual burn
prevention campaigns.

Each character represented a composite of the clinicians providing a specific treatment, animals from Chile’s diverse ecosystems, and a value or insight the patient needs to internalize to maximize the treatment outcomes.


Parents connect through
their children.

70% of COANIQUEM's patients are under six which required participatory research methods to uncover latent patient needs.


Facilitate crafts to understand
latent needs.

 A puppet making activity enabled the design team to work directly with patients and validated the importance of creating "empowerment opportunities" ranging from them designing their characters to using tables that were the right height for the under six set.

The importance of "modeling" each step of the activity became clear when newly created puppets found themselves involved in spontaneous boxing matches. 

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Play Journey


Un-facilitated crafts to
understand engagement.

Additional insight gained included observations on how parents began to engage with each other as they observed their children playing. 




Age Range: 3 - 5
Education: Preschool
City: La Serena, Chile

Moving into therapy phase after 2 years of open wounds.


I want to be loved
I want to be free
I want to be in control


To play all day
To explore what's new
To eat 

Pain Points

Itchy Bandages
Over protective parents
Feels left 


Experiential Prototype

To facilitate dialogue between families we experimented with various seating arrangements.

We were challenged to create a flexible seating plan to accommodate summer and winter capacities ranging from thirty to eighty-five people.


Age Range: 28
Education: College
City: La Serena, Chile

Mother of 3-year-old moving with new scarring.


I want my child to be healed
I want my child to be safe
I want my child to be happy

Pain Points

A child in constant need
Unfamiliar with treatment
Frequently feels isolated


Preserving the
Human Touch.


There’s an opportunity cost to free healthcare.

To be mindful of parents' work schedules and travel challenges, the staff sets up multiple appointments with different therapists to optimize each visit to Santiago.

Parents are asked to leave work, find additional child care, or come together to trade off waiting duties. 

The DMV style appointment notification system locks parents to the waiting room between 3 - 8 hours at a time.


Patient Experience
Current State

1. Colleen Arrives at Coaniquem wondering where to check in.
2. Colleen enters with Antonella, not sure how to start process, she notices reception window.
3. The Reception Staff instructs them to take a number.
4. Takes a number.
5. Waits for number to be called.
6. Colleen’s is called to reception. where she is calmed by the Reception Staff who digitizes her contact info and checks Antonella in.
7. Waits for name to be called by professional.
8. Professional calls Antonella and meets Colleen.


Greeter Probe

Through multiple prototypes we realized the greeter was the first touchpoint when families and patients entered the waiting room. They were usually lost and in emotional distress and needed to figure out what to do when entering the waiting room. 

Through this insight we tested where in the waiting room families felt the most comfortable asking for the help they need and found they felt the most comfortable off to the side of the waiting room (where the ticket system currently is) because it was semi private and familiar.   

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Patient Experience
Future State

1. Colleen Arrives at Coaniquem wondering where to    check in.
2. She is greeted and instructed to input her contact
    information into the tablet. 
3.  She waits to receive a text message while
     Antonella plays with other children.
4.  Colleen is oriented to COANIQUEM, and
     reasurred she and Antonella are in the right place.
5.  The Specialist greets Antonella and Colleen in
     waiting room and they head to examination room.





When I first applied to be a part of the team that got to go to Coaniquem, I was nervous about how I would handle the emotions that I thought would come with being at a child burn clinic. 

I prepared myself by talking with professionals in the field, we attending workshops focused on sensitivity training and visited hospitals prior to going. This helped me to better understand the task at hand. 

When we arrived at Coaniquem we were greeted with love and immediately felt like we belonged, were wanted and appreciated for the work we were set out to do. 

One story in particular stands out to me. There was a little girl (I like to refer to her as smoosh) with the biggest smile I have ever seen with bandages covering her body. She had joy that radiated from her. We were making puppets as a workshop to empower the children to express themselves and she looked at me and said, " I want a pig, with a pink tail ". So we made her that pig. 

I then saw that little girl for the next three days and every time I saw her she would run up to me and give me a big hug. One day we went to the cafeteria to eat lunch and she was there. She came up to me with a not so big smile that day and asked, " will you scratch my burns for me, they are itchy". This was a moment I was unsure what to do or how to handle this situation but I looked at her mother and she said, "it is okay" so that is exactly what I did. 

This little girl gave me the inspiration to create an environment that would continue to bring many more smiles to many other children that passed through the doors of Coaniquem. 

The Safe Ninos project is by far my favorite project I have had the opportunity to work on. I was able to be a part of a team of 12 designers who brought the same level of passion and drive to the project that I did. I learned some valuable tools that I now bring to other projects about empathy and the impact design can bring to a space.