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Super Nurse helps me draw my feelings.

Team members craft a superhero cape that functions as a wearable coloring book that is used as a tool to share vulnerabilities.

Photo of lorain hamilton
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine the end-of-life experience?

Ideally, conversations' involving death are avoided. The Super Hero Kit that serves as an activity which connects the child patient to the caretaker, thus alleviating the uncomfort of end-of-life discussion. The Kit is comprised of two white-canvas capes, one for the caretaker and one for the child, along with various art supplies. Together, the care taker and patient will adorn, draw or do whatever their hearts' desires with the cape as a way to expresses their stresses as a form of art.
  1. To be considered a superhero should one possess unearthly mutant powers, such as Wolverine death-defying claws, the Flash lighting speed or Wonder Woman ability to repel bullets? Or can a superhero simply, be a doctor, nurse or a RN at a local-community hospital? The NYC OpenIDEO Nurses Matter Too pop-up workshop, group members' Carson (Transportation Engineer), Luti (Transportation Engineer), Roland (Artist and Production Manager) and Lorain (Graphic Designer) tested this definition.

The design team used muslin, neon turkey feathers, pipe cleaners and safety pins to craft a prototype of a superhero cape. The cape would not only function as a garment but a wearable coloring book that is used as a tool to share fears, weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Hospital personnel would wear the cape while caring for children patients. In the duration of care, if the patient exhibits any signs of emotive distress, caretakers would provide a Superhero Kit. The kit contains: two white-canvas capes, one for the caretaker and one for the child, along with various art supplies. The doctor, nurse or RN sports the cape while encouraging the patient to draw on it. The patient is prompted to express how they feel visually, whereas the hospital personal will do the same, thus creating a bond between the patient and the care taker.

The coloring book cape  represents the caretaker as a superhero or in this OpenIDEO workshop session, a Nurse. A nurse is, like Batman, Iron man and many superheroes, mortal- who are vulnerable to their emotions. The nurse, day to day wrestles the rigors of the universes of medical care.  It takes superhuman strength to express this vulnerability, especially when nurses are perceived by society, to uphold a quality of concealing their emotions so they can perform the tasks’ of their jobs.  A superhero' nurse admirable virtue is their mortal "weaknesses" which is their passionate quality to provide care, connect and have compassion for their patients.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

A simple, non- expensive prototype of the Superhero cape and handbags (to hold the kits) will be made from cloth, muslin or canvas. Team members from NYC OpenIDEO chapter can touch base with local galleries, art institutions and stores for art supplies and donations. In the preliminary test stages, The Superhero kits can be given out to local caretakers along with questionnaire to assesses their patients reactions to the wearable colouring book.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Although the SuperHero Kit sounds like a stellar idea, no idea is brilliant upon blush! The OpenIDEO community is a ideation hub of design thinkers from all faucets, who can provide insightful feedback. OpenIDEO how can we improve this project and put into fruition?

Tell us about your work experience:

Hello OpenIDEO family! My name is Lorain Hamilton, I recently obtained my BFA in Graphic Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology. I currently work as a freelance graphic design in New York City.

This idea emerged from

  • An OpenIDEO Outpost or Chapter


Join the conversation:

Photo of Lee-Jung Kim

lorain hamilton Thank you for posting this idea! Bettina Fliegel and Morgan Meinel , you were the inspiration behind this idea. This team focuses on vulnerability as the strength and use that as the superpower to connect with the patients and family. Thank you for sharing your story so that we can see the beauty among the simple things in life.
Check out the video!

Photo of Morgan Meinel

Lee-Jung Kim - I'm so glad that that our interview was able to inspire so many wonderful ideas! lorain hamilton - I really love this idea. I think this could really be beneficial for a pediatric population within a hospital setting in particular. Children have a tendency to see there nurses and doctors as superheroes, so incorporating this into the hospital environment could be really great for both the nurse and patient. This is such a fun and creative way to express emotions. Thank you for your innovative idea! :) 

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