This PhD project aims to explore what stimulates young children (2-9 y/o) to engage in physical play during hospitalization. In particular, it focuses on children with cancer, who often have to stay in the hospital for longer periods of time little opportunities to move around the hospital. Using a ‘research through design’ approach, designs are developed for children’s physical play viewing children’s environments as potential ‘playscapes’. Through multiple design research iterations, the designs are introduced into real life hospital settings with the aim to evaluate these designs and gain insights on children’s physical play.  

This research project is the PhD research of Boudewijn Boon and is part the larger project ‘Meedoen=Groeien!’ (i.e. ‘participation is growth’). The project is a collaboration between the Dutch Rehabilitation Fund, the Princess Máxima Center of Pediatric Oncology, and the Delft University of Technology and is funded by the Vriendenloterij. The aim of the project is to generate knowledge and tools to help designers and design researchers better understand, realize, and validate interactive products that are meaningful and that foster the normal development of children with cancer.  

Outreach / Activity

Exhibiting Fizzy & Stickz prototypes at the Dutch Design Week. Mind the Step exhibition, Eindhoven, Oct 22nd-31st, 2016

‘Een ontwerpperspectief op de fysieke ontwikkeling van kinderen’, NVFK member meeting, Amersfoort, June 17th, 2015

‘Het kinderziekenhuis als ‘playscape’’, Congres Positieve Psychologie, Bussum, Oct 15th,  2015

‘Meedoen=Groeien! Fostering the development of children with cancer’, DRIVE Festival, Eindhoven, Oct 21st, 2015



Meedoen = Groeien! is funded by the Vriendenloterij


Affiliates / Collaborators


  1. Princess Máxima Center of Pediatric Oncology
  2. Dutch Rehabilitation Fund
  3. Child Development & Exercise Center
  4. Delft Institute of Positive Design


  1. Prof. dr. Pieter Jan Stappers
  2. Dr. Marry van den Heuvel-Eibrink
  3. Dr. Janjaap van der Net
  4. Patrizia D’Olivo

Involved Members