in hospitals and –worse still – psychiatric clinics, one is instantly overcome (or at least designers are) by a deep sense of despondency on account of the – to put it mildly – abjectly inhospitable mood of the place and the repulsive ugliness of the architecture. the extent of the barbaric constraints at play here provides a fine? example of the products of our consensus-based society. shouldn’t such places automatically qualify for an extra portion of tender loving care? shouldn’t they be designed with extra-special sensitivity in order not to worsen the suffering by imposing such depressing aesthetics? fortunately, there are exceptions. another ward at st. damiano is currently undergoing a process of beautification, with graphic wallpaper, doors you can understand without being able to read, and brightly coloured furniture creating a humane, which is to say carefully designed, environment for residents, carers and cleaners.
hendrike nagel (project manager)
büro für gestaltung
daniel fels and mats kubiak