Creatures in the Walls


For the past year, Small Design Firm has worked with The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on Jimmy’s Junction, an interactive wall for the waiting room of their innovative, new pediatric clinic. The twenty-three foot long wall will project an aura of friendliness, support, and comfort while easing the transition in to the clinic’s treatment area. The wall will be both a soothing, abstract light sculpture and a whimsical land inhabited by fantastic creatures.

We have partnered with artist Bren Bataclan and animator Chris Stacy to create more than fifty animated characters that live inside the wall. The characters enact their own dramas and adventures, and respond to people’s presence and movement. This past December, we celebrated the arrival of winter by commissioning a special five-second movie by Chris Stacy, which we used to create an animated flipbook starring Mountain Boo, one of our favorite inhabitants of Jimmy’s Junction.

In addition to serving the needs of the patients, family, and staff in the clinic space, Jimmy’s Junction is a fundraising tool for the hospital. Each of the fifty characters can be “befriended” with a gift to the Institute’s Jimmy Fund at

We all feel immensely privileged to work on a project that will have such a large presence in the lives of patients and their families.¬†We’ve put a lot of thought and work into designing something that we hope will take the clinic experience—one naturally fraught with tedium and anxiety—and bring to it some measure of comfort and joy.