Safe Niños

Co-creating a healing ecosystem

Safe Niños Concepción

ArtCenter College of Design


Field Research & Strategy
Concept Development
Environmental Graphics

Project Overview

Safe Niños is a DesignMatters transdisciplinary studio where I worked alongside product design, spatial design and illustration majors to create an impact on a burned child’s healing journey through design. In partnership with Latin America’s leading non-profit, COANIQUEM, who provides free treatment to over 8,000 burnt children each year we asked ourselves: “How might we co-create a holistic healing experience at COANIQUEM’s newest clinic in the city of Concepción, Chile.

A Journey of Insight

Our journey kicked off with a visit to COANIQUEM's main facility in Santiago, Chile where we gained insights into the healing journey for children undergoing burn injury treatment. During the trip, we traveled to Concepción, the second-largest city in Chile, where the newest clinic had been established. It was in this setting that our project took shape, and we gathered valuable insights from the clinic’s staff and patients.

Finding the Opportunities

Following our thorough field research, teams were established to focus on the primary design opportunities for the project. Teams were categorized into Story, Spaces, Toys, and Casabierta—the residential facility for families seeking treatment from different regions. To ensure a cohesive approach for all teams to center their efforts on, we set "The Connection with the Earth" as the overarching theme.

Strengthening the Connection

As part of the Story team, my goal was to develop an environmental experience that informed and also nurtured the children’s healing journey by integrating the local BioBío region’s unique natural resources and rich cultural heritage, inspired by the indigenous Mapuche people.

Implementing Design Strategies

Our design strategies were rooted in the needs identified by the clinic’s staff and patients. Cost-effectiveness and ease of replication were key considerations. To address this, we employed a wall-painting approach, creating a calming atmosphere for patients while serving as a wayfinding system. Thanks to the talents of my illustrator peers, we also introduced a color block illustration system for simplicity, allowing for straightforward reproduction.

A Unique Guiding System

In homage to Concepción’s primary natural feature, we utilized the BioBío River as a guiding element throughout the clinic hallways. A vibrant, flowing river design served as a visual guide, leading patients and parents into various treatment areas.

A Playful Experience

Leveraging my UI/UX expertise, I proposed an interactive digital game designed to playfully inform the young patients about the different treatment areas that they’ll experience within their healing journey.

My Takeaway

This project taught me the importance of teamwork and also pushed me out of my comfort zone into environmental design. It opened my eyes to how design can be a force for good in communities and can make a real difference in people's lives. Undoubtedly, this experience is one of the most meaningful things I've done at ArtCenter.

Special thanks to my amazing teammates

Anggie Arivia
Stella Chen 
Skyler Su