Between the Drops: A Guide to Design Principles

The “Between the Drops” Design Challenge was a unique opportunity to rethink the design of “Tipat Halav” / “Well-Baby Clinics”, which are family health centres, and their surroundings throughout Israel. The challenge is part of the Ministry of Health’s broader initiative for their development. Young architects and designers were invited to participate in this design competition and offer their vision for future well-baby clinics in the Israeli landscape.

The goal of the competition was to encourage innovative and interdisciplinary design proposals, promoting a fresh perspective on the environments of well-baby clinics. These environments should cater to the needs of the early childhood stage (from birth to 6 years) and the families they serve. Well-baby clinics are the primary healthcare service that young families encounter, starting from pregnancy and preparation for birth, through the early years and parenthood. The Ministry of Health is responsible for the well-baby clinics, with approximately 428 stations scattered throughout the country.

The competition was based on the strategic framework of the Ministry’s early years strategy, which emphasises developing the well-baby clinics in Israel, including their physical environments. It also aligned with the Urban95 programme led by the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The programme sought to empower architects, designers, and other stakeholders to positively impact how families and young children experience, play, communicate, and navigate cities, influencing their behaviour and wellbeing during early childhood.

Through this competition, the following design guide was developed to inform and inspire city planners, architects, urban designers, and other stakeholders interested in transforming urban space for the health and wellbeing of young children and their caregivers.