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Nationwide & ZenGenius Design a Kid-Friendly, Interactive Computer Room for Ronald McDonald House

Located directly across from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House (RMHC) of Central Ohio is the largest Ronald McDonald House in the world. The Ronald McDonald House provides a home-away-from-home for seriously ill children and their families. RMHC of Central Ohio serves over 4,500 families from around the world and provides nearly 50,000 nights of rest annually. The House has 137 guestrooms, common spaces for families to spend time with each other, a rooftop garden, and five single-family homes for longterm stays, and a computer room.

In 2014, the Columbus Ronald McDonald House underwent a large expansion project, which included a remodeling of the computer room sponsored by Nationwide. For the expansion, Ohio-based creative agency ZenGenius reimagined the computer room as a more interactive, family-friendly space that would engage both kids and parents. 

ZenGenius Principal Joe Baer immediately thought to use Visual Magnetics repositionable, layerable magnetic receptive materials to create an interactive wall installation. Visual Magnetics proudly donated materials to the Ronald McDonald House to help create a layered wall installation with die-cut pieces that move around on the wall. 

The ZenGenius team used Visual Magnetics materials to design an interactive map that kids could use to place small icons of people, landmarks and other symbols around the world map. Rich blue map illustrations, a subtle celebration of the Nationwide brand, are set against a neutral grey background to contrast playfully with colorful die-cut icons. These elements add a joyous, kid-friendly feeling to what would normally be considered a more adult space. Clipboards and frames were all mounted with Visual Magnetics’ patented InvisiLock magnet and locked on to the wall, allowing them to be removed or repositioned easily by staff at the facility.

“We are so grateful to Nationwide, ZenGenius, and Visual Magnetics for creating a space that is not only beautiful for our families but more interactive and functional. Without these generous supporters we would not be able to have a space like this for our families,” says Angela Hartley, Sr. Development Director at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio.

“Parents are now able to spend time on the computers doing research, connecting with their support systems and much more while their young children are easily entertained in the children’s area. The Visual Magnetics materials allow children to connect with one another and leave their “mark” on the house by placing the magnets on the maps. They truly enjoy being a part of the space in a fun unique way,” continues Angela.

The computer room is now the first thing guests to the Columbus Ronald McDonald House see when they walk into the facility. The tech area now gives a warm, happy and welcoming feeling to the space.

“The computer room has undergone a total transformation pulling in all aspects that are important for our families,” says Angela. “With the support from Nationwide, ZenGenius, and Visual Magnetics the room represents Columbus, Ohio in an exciting way. It allows families to share, connect, and learn from each other. It is a space that everyone enjoys, and a space that is truly important to our families.”

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