Designers for healthcare

Parent and Child Centre WZA

Letting children explore and relax

For children and parents, a visit to the hospital can sometimes be intense or stressful. This does not benefit the treatment. For the new Parent and Child Centre of the Wilhelmina Hospital Assen (WZA), we took up the challenge of creating a place where not only medical care is provided, but where children and their parents can also relax and are stimulated to get moving.

The WZA is located next to one of the oldest forests in the Netherlands, the 'Asserbos'. The project team was inspired by the richness of this beautiful forest. Duurzaamheidscentrum (sustainability centre) Assen and the foundation of Drentse Landschap were involved in the development. The result is an adventurous exploration journey through the Parent and Child Centre in which you get to know everything about the inhabitants of the Asserbos.

The Asserbos

As soon as children and their parents enter the ward, they meet Squirrel Ed and his friends. In the patient room, the children are challenged to go on a treasure hunt through the Parent and Child Centre. During their quest, they can scan the found animals with an App. The app offers them new challenges: find Pieter Pad in the floor projection, find out how Dunya Das builds a fortress with the interactive mirror or slide with the different characters on the magnetic wall.

When the children have found all eight inhabitants, they will receive a badge proving that they have become scouts of the Asserbos. When they visit the Sustainability Centre of the Asserbos, they will receive a gift when they show their badge.

The designs can be found throughout the entire department, from the maternity ward to the children's ward, each of which challenges and distracts the children in a different way.

"The resources developed at the Parent and Child Centre allow children to, despite their illness, momentarily forget that they are in a hospital...."
Edwin Heuving, Kiwanis Assen
Wall map in patient rooms
Wall sticker with funny nature facts
Magnetic wall with the forest inhabitants


In 2016 Panton, together with the WZA, developed the new corporate identity and recorded it in 'The Feeling of WZA'. Starting points are: personal, clear and connected. By connected we also mean connected with the history and beautiful nature of Drenthe. This project makes that connection visible.

During development, we worked together with staff from the department, the client council and members of Kiwanis Assen. Together with them and the forest ranger Bertil Zoer, the characters of the digital treasure hunt were created, facts about the flora and fauna were collected, and suitable photo and film material was incorporated in the various resources.

From idea to completion

Panton designed the search and discovery tour and, together with the partners mentioned below, elaborated and realised the physical and digital designs. Panton was also responsible for the overall project management and for ensuring that the designs were consistent with each other. Kiwanis Assen made the development and realisation financially possible by their successful fundraising.

Map with QR codes for bedridden children
Interactive mirror in the waiting room
Interested in how to encourage people to exercise more?
Get in touch with Joris Swaak