Spotlight

Life Support

July 2003

Hall for dreamers or impersonal machine? Hospital architecture is an amalgam of elements drawn from religion, the military and the factory. Life Support explores this symbolic coding of space and its underlying mythologies. Four spatial hybrids mixing 2D and 3D representation act as narrative containers for issues of hierarchy, mechanization, privacy and identity. Life Support explores the symbolic coding of space and its underlying mythologies.

The symbolism of space is deeply ingrained, perhaps physiological. We read the underlying messages of rooms dedicated to waiting, to sleep, or to death through their design, ambience and contents. The word ‘hospital’ comes from the Latin hospes, the same root as hosptality and hotel, meaning guest or host. A contemporary hospital might contain vestiges of the cruciform design of the Renaissance hospital, the panopticon of the prison, or the compartmentalization of industrial architecture. Life Support draws upon depictions of medical spaces in advertising, popular culture and film and their reintegration into our vocabulary of space.

Life Support creates a series of ‘rooms’ based on archetypal hospital spaces: a corridor, waiting room, patient room and treatment room. Each of these locations is associated thematically with a particular psychological state/adaptation response and act as narrative containers for issues of hierarchy, mechanization, privacy and identity. These spaces are hybrids of 2D and 3D elements in which the 3D spatial construct —a wireframe of a room —functions as a scrim for the projection of multiple images and as a container for the layering of audio elements. Movement through space and narrative movement are linked, as in a walking meditation.

REQUIREMENTS

Life Support requires FLASH. Turn up your audio. Set your screen to 1024×768. High bandwidth. Optimized for the PC platform.

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