This collaborative project between UCT Lung institute, CPUT’s Design Department and staff of Chapel Street Clinic aims to improve healthcare services at government clinics throughout the Western Cape. The outputs include co designed spaces and a toolkit for further clinic collaborations.
Connecting with communities is a central focus of the UCT Lung Institute’s vision and mission, a focus also shared by the CPUT DESIS Lab. These connections take on various forms with a recent decision to expand the Institute’s footprint in an attempt to give a little something back and in so doing attempting to impact whole communities, if even in a small way.
Chapel Street Clinic in Woodstock, a day clinic with which the Institute has enjoyed a long and productive relationship, was recently earmarked as the first site for a redesign and refurbishment project, in an attempt to bring one of the oldest clinics in the City into the 21st century while remaining sensitive to its history, functional requirements and place within Woodstock.
An all–‐inclusive community–‐centric approach was employed which saw the Institute seeking financial involvement from the local business community. This involvement came in the form of the Lewis Group, which has been headquartered and involved in the Woodstock area for 60 years. Further collaborative relationships were pursued and saw various individuals, corporate entities and academic institutions becoming involved in numerous capacities. One such collaboration has seen CPUT’s Industrial Design department throwing its full weight behind solving some of the clinic’s challenges as far as workflow and user–‐friendliness are concerned in an attempt to find real solutions to real problems. Key to this collaboration has been seeking solutions that are implementable in healthcare clinics throughout the City as the Institute rolls out an extensive plan to redesign and refurbish clinics throughout the Metropolis.
With the structural work completed, the clinic continues to transform. Bringing a sense of Cape Town’s unique spirit and beauty is a key aim of this transformative process. From graphic & industrial designers to budding child artists, to graffiti artists, to vinyl maestros, they’re all lending their expertise in transforming Chapel Clinic into a space that represents something of what serving the healthcare needs of communities could really be about. We are of the view that such collaborative processes represent a
Sustainable and achievable solution and seek World Design Capital 2014 recognition as a means of elevating the profile of this worthy endeavor and showcase how tertiary institutions, designers and communities can co-create places of value. We are open to collaborating with other projects both for
WDC 2014 and beyond as a way of furthering our own knowledge and aiding others in reaching new heights.
How does it use design to improve lives?
This project embraces a poly-disciplinary approach, necessary in working to solve complex design problems. Initial research used service design and participatory design methodologies to collectively identify issues around the delivery of healthcare in a specific context, ie Chapel Street Clinic.
Co-design workshops were held with staff members to make explicit, processes and procedures inherent in the current delivery of healthcare services. Key areas of concern were identified, with industrial designers picking up the next iteration of involvement. The designers are currently using the knowledge and information these participatory sessions made known. The next design iteration (July to November 2013) involves industrial designers working with the staff to conceptualise a multi–‐use child waiting area; improved storage for pharmaceutical requirements and to reduce cross contamination of samples; as well as an improved baby–‐weighing station, amongst other focus areas.