A Designer is in the building!

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It was an early tuesday morning, and I was cycling to work. I was on my bike one hour earlier than usual and I was on a new cycling route. My office had moved from The Royal Danish Academy of Design and to the University hospital in Copenhagen, Rigshospitalet.

When I reached Rigshospitalet I parked my bike in front entrance 5. There is some kind of number system for all the different departments at the hospital, but I haven’t figured it out yet, so I always use the same entrance even though people tell me that it’s not the easiest way to the Leukemia department. The traffic inside the hospital this morning is intense and I wait more than five minutes just to reach an elevator that goes up.. I reach two floors up and then it stops and on the wall in the elevator big red letters appears and tell me it’s reserved for the staff. So everyone have to go out and wait for another one.. It took me 10 minutes to reach fifth floor..

Then I went directly to the uniform room, which is the smallest and most narrow room in the whole department. Everything in this room is grey and white and filled up with clinic uniforms hidden in blue plastic bags, lockers and sport shoes. There is an unbelievable white light and it smells like my fitness dressing room. You are supposed to change to your uniform in this room, both men and women.. There is no lock on the door, so i quickly jump into Rigshospitalets uniform: a pair of white jeans and a t-shirt, before anyone enters the room. This morning was the first time that I was alone at the hospital, without my partner Isabel, so I was a little bit nervous about how to approach that.. When I came out, the head of the department Lone, met me with a big welcoming smile. One of those smiles that just made me calm and comfortable in this new situation I had placed myself in. I explained that I would like to talk with patients in the Ambulatory that had tried the home chemotherapy. Lone started explaining how to go there, and then she might have seen my confused face expressions and stopped herself and said

“you know what, I will go with you and show you where it is..”

I was a relieved, because I allready saw myself walking around all confused in areas at the hospital were I wasn’t suppose to be. We took the stairs, and the door to the stairs says “Fireescape”, so I wouldn’t have taken into consideration to use these stairs without Lone showing me. She explained me I could remember that I had to go right on the fourth floor, because of a broken light where the glass were lying on the floor, no other signs were available here. After five minutes in which felt like moving in a labyrinth of stairs and different departments, we finally reached the basement where the ambulatory was. There was a lot of people waiting in the waiting room and Lone introduced me to the nurses and explained that me and Isabel were Co-designers and we would be visiting them in the morning hours to talk to people having experience with home treatment. The nurses gave me a warm smile like the one Lone gave me earlier that day, and I very much felt like I was part of the team now, even though I don’t know how many designers in hospital uniforms they had before us, I guess not that many… 

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