Netherlands' first Child Brain Lab opens its doors in Rotterdam

News - 29 June 2022 - Communication

Designer researchers and design students are playing an important role in the kind of experience children with neurological pathologies have when they visit the Sophia’s Children Hospital in Rotterdam.

On Saturday 25 June 2022, the Child Brain Lab celebrated its official opening with a symposium at Erasmus MC.

Child Brain Lab (Kinderhersenlab)

The Child Brain Lab provides insights into the development of children with disorders of the head, brain, and senses. By having the children take a series of child-friendly and structured tests, the staff is able to provide them with better, more tailored care. And by combining diverse data types that belong to different specialisms, researchers are able to increase their knowledge of the causes and treatments of –often times rare – medical conditions.

At the symposium

During the symposium, IDE Assistant Professor Mathieu Gielen presented student work from his Play Well Lab. The IDE students’ work gives children a more comfortable, even fun, experience when they visit the Child Brain Lab. This is done via a thematised gait test room, gamified EEG-scan procedures, and the ‘self-portrait’. The latter acts as a personal-diary-meets-patient-file that gives children more agency over their hospital experiences and test results.

NOS Jeugdjournaal (a Dutch news programme for children) visited the Child Brain Lab before the opening and interviewed some of the children taking part in the tests there. During their interviews, the children talked about the positive experience they had while taking the tests, all of which were designed from a child’s perspective. (You can watch the interviews here.)

About the designers

The designs presented by Assistant Professor Gielen included the graduation work of Paul Meulendijks, Tina Ekhtiar, and Chenye Xu – whose mentors included IDE researchers Lyè Goto, Jeske Weerdesteijn, and Sonja Paus-Buzink. Their designs were further developed by the MCW Creative Agency.

To learn more about the official opening of the Child’s Brain Lab, click here.