The idea for Daub began when David Bennett, design director at OPX, was sat in Kings College hospital where his son had been admitted late one night. While sat in the hospital he started to wonder how the creative industry might alleviate the boredom of the children who were staying on the wards. “There was just nothing to do, just some dog eared books,” he says. “I was looking at the murals painted on the walls and thought it would be great for kids to do something like that, although it would be a logistical nightmare.”
David was impressed by the effort and care that the staff at the hospital had shown and wrote a letter to say thanks. “All the time I was wondering how the design industry might be able to help in some way,” he says. “If only to alleviate the boredom of waiting.”
He developed an idea for a work book with illustrations that could be coloured in by children and began to approach people to collaborate. The response was quick and enthusiastic. Eleven creatives from across the world contributed a line drawing for the workbook. The brief was open and each was asked to submit a “vector line drawing, pattern or anything the children can add to, join up or colour in.” Each artwork would measure 210×297mm and only use black line. Contributors to daub include Copenhagen-based Louise Overgaard, Lotta Nieminen in New York, Spanish studio Hey and Jean Jullien. “They didn’t just provide a drawing,” says David. “They provided opportunities for the children to use their imagination.”
An initial run of 300 books will be delivered to Kings College hospital this week in time for Christmas. “When kids come into hospitals they are always looking at a screen,” says David. “This is a way to encourage interaction, even if it is just for five minutes.” He hopes that children will submit their completed designs to the Daub website and grow a gallery of the responses. He also aims, should the first run proves successful, to find other ways to continue the project with workshops, creating large artworks or physical galleries on wards.
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