The Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) started in 1998 with a vision to improve community well-being in the Hunter Region of NSW.
Today it has evolved into a world-class institute with 1500 medical researchers, students, and support staff. With a strong focus on community and health education, HMRI regularly interacts with the community to provide learning opportunities to improve community health.
In August 2022, HMRI reached out to Giant Inflatables to help them bring an idea to life. Their vision was to create an immersive interactive experience to educate children about the digestive system, its functions and how it impacts health and everyday life.
The interactive inflatable activation was to be a part educational experience and part physical activity, with each inflatable section representing a vital part of the digestive system.
The GI design team made up the ten-by-ten meter modular inflatable obstacle course in four individual inflatable modules that connect to form the full activation.
Each module was created to represent one or more elements of the digestive system and feature an interactive part to teach users about the digestive system’s function.
Module 1: Mouth and Oesophagus
Module 2: Stomach, Liver, Gall Bladder and Pancreas
Module 3: Small Intestine
Module 4: Large Intestine and Butt Cheeks.
Entering through the mouth, users climb up and slide down the esophagus and into the stomach, where they can jump around a jumping castle-style deck visiting the pancreas and gall bladder.
Upon reaching the liver, users sort nutrients in the liver, then move on through the small intestine tunnel and into the large intestine.
Jumping through the ridges of the large intestine, users will navigate to the end of the activation, where they push themselves through the butt cheeks to exit the activation.
Over four weeks, the Giant Inflatables design team and the HMRI team collaborated on the design to create the perfect final product.
The HMRI team provided highly detailed textures that the GI team implemented into the inflatable design. This variation created a clear separation between each module.
Multiple layouts of the “Poo Palace” were considered to best use the space available until everybody agreed upon the simple “U” shaped configuration.
The abundance of activity inside the poo palace inspired the design team to optimize the exterior surfaces available to provide helpful diagrams, additional information and large-scale branding. This activation extension provided a more significant opportunity for photos, interactions and brand impressions.
The Poo Palace came together spectacularly.
The excitement around the activation increased even before the inflatable was finished production.
Upon delivery, HMRI noted that the inflatable created a buzz with not only the young audience but also any adults who saw it, providing a unique, memorable and exciting asset that will have an extraordinarily positive impact on community engagement and awareness for the digestive system.
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