Doctors and architects speak different languages. That’s understandable – they’ve been to entirely different schools. We can get by in a foreign country with gestures. But when it comes to communicating detail we need a phrasebook. Similarly, architects and health professionals a similar tool – Playmobile. It helps with design translation.
Using Playmobile figures and 3D printed beds and hospital equipment designers and medical staff can shape the spaces together. Not everyone can grasp the concept of spaces on a two-dimensional drawing. Likewise, designers do not have an intimate understanding of how clinics work. But everyone has played with toys.
This is a great example of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). The short article on FastCompany doesn’t mention this specifically, but it follows the basic tenets: multiple means of engagement, representation and expression.
This is not a new idea – Lego has been used in other situations.