3. SJGH Innovation Lab



What did we learn from our visit?

  • Make design decisions that lead to a creative proposal. This means you can pretty much propose anything as long as you can support your decisions by sound reasoning. For example: Why did you pick the colors you did? Why did you choose the images/graphics you did? Why this technique or media? How do things connect?
    This is opposite from trying to determine what, if any, specific things can’t be done. Instead think more along the lines of what could be done and why that would be better or helpful.
  • The focus or main aspect of your proposal must be graphic. It might also include additional lighting ideas or plant installations for example, but the main part of your design proposal must be something created in Illustrator.
  • The focus or main aspect of your proposal must be on the interior space, however, you may show how your ideas could be expanded or extended outside as well.
  • Create a visual environment that is different from that of a hospital, one that as a result, encourages new approaches to health care problems.
    • The space should “feel” unlike any other kind of room. What would a spaceship room feel like? the Bat Cave? the Oval Office? Picasso’s studio? Jules Verne’s Time Machine? Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak’s garage? etc. This room should not be any of these examples but for sure it should feel more like any of them than a hospital.
    • This does not mean you should’t use images that are familiar in a hospital/health care environment. The key here is how you use/portray them.
  • The conversations that occur include physicians, engineers, technicians, pharmacy companies, insurance representatives. These are the people that come together in this room and the ones you are trying to create an inspiring environment for.
  • New technologies are a major part of those conversations and how they can positively impact health care. So, using new ways of printing or showing technology in your graphic images is one way to do that.
  • You must use a graphic approach
  • You must use Illustrator
  • How can you use alternative printing techniques (something other than printing to paper) to indicate technology?
  • How can you reference common healthcare objects, machines or scenes in new or symbolic ways?



Where Do Ideas Come From?

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This project is with the San Joaquin General Hospital. We will be working with a small group from the hospital that have developed an Innovation Lab where doctors, nurses and other health care staff meet to brainstorm new ideas and directions related to working with patients and some of the most challenging issues related to healthcare. These meetings may focus specifically on topics such as new technologies, new procedures, alternative approaches, development, preventative measurements, methods of evaluation or wholistic treatment. The lab is dedicated to launching new products and services that improve the health of the people in the community. Discussions, brainstorming sessions, presentations, prototyping, are examples of what goes on there. In short, it is meant to be an incubator for ideas.



Innovation Labs are generally created for the following purposes.

  • Physicians are innovators at heart, & need a vehicle to facilitate innovation.
  • There is a tremendous opportunity to find new ways to deliver more cost-effective care by tapping into the ideas of physicians, nurses, clinicians and employees.
  • There is significant need to lower costs for the underserved community.
  • To be successful, innovators need to embrace risk & failure in order to succeed.

“Clichés about thinking outside the box might seem appropriate here, but real innovation requires thinking outside the warehouse where the boxes are stored.”
—“Criteria for Evaluating a Creative Solution”, Robert Harris, Virtual Salt, July 2012

To succeed in today’s rapidly changing, globally competitive environment, the only option is to innovate—to either make change or be changed. Innovation is the driver of change, and change is the most important driver of corporate and organizational strategy.

Innovative Thinking in the Health Care Industry 

Your Assignment

To propose a system of graphic images that will help facilitate creative thinking in the environment of the Innovation Lab. There are no limits or restrictions to style, or technique. Inspiration leading to innovation is the key element to keep in mind. The specific industry is healthcare, however you might interpret inspiration/innovation more broadly. You may propose interactive elements, window coverings/treatments, murals, lighting, typographic solutions, infographics, etc. In addition, your solution might involve repainting walls/ceiling. Whatever your proposal, graphic elements must be the central component.




The Space

Formally known as “The Canteen” the room was initially a small cafe for hospital staff. The Canteen sign could potentially be removed from outside and incorporated into a design idea inside. The room is approximately the same size as a typically classroom at Pacific.

record-ceilingAsk yourself questions such as these:

  • What does it mean to be healthy?
  • What inspires?
  • What motivates
  • What innovations/inventions have occurred in health care, historically?
  • Who are some of the leaders/innovators/heros in health care?
  • What types of media, surfaces or techniques are possible?
  • What style of graphics are possible?



Themed Environments

Theming refers to “the use of an overarching theme…to create a holistic and integrated spatial organization of a consumer venue.”  In an overall sense, theming can be categorized under either experience; what an individual sees and feels in their current ‘themed environment’ or décor; which is utilized to make an individual remember something through the portrayal of the theme, whether it be generic or specific.

The most common purpose of theming is to make an event memorable, though theming can also be a means to create a niche. It can be thought of as a method to narrow down a broad event or aspect. A holiday can be, in a sense, generalized as a theme. ChristmasEasterValentine’s DayIndependence Day, are all celebrated themes. In this case, the themes mentioned would be derived from history. However, themes are not limited to just that; many themes come from different cultures and fantasy. A prime example of a fantasy theme would be from the book series, Harry Potter by author J.K. Rowling. By using major aspects of the book in order to create a themed party, one is using a fantasy theme since the books are works of fiction. Nevertheless, theming is not limited solely as a means of characterizing.


Theming is usually used to portray a notable experience by taking aspects of the past and integrating them into original ideas and/or extravagant events. It can also be seen as a creative medium used to attract attention or embellish an otherwise ‘plain’ event.