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Reminder: Alumni Day 2018

Happy Easter! We hope everyone has a wonderful weekend with their friends & family! With just a month to go we are getting very excited for the Alumniday and hope […]

Invitation Alumni Day 2018

Dear Alumni and (former) Explore Lab tutors, We would like to officially invite you to Alumni Day 2018! In order to organise the alumniday, a contribution of €12,50 from each […]

Announcement: Alumni day 2018

This year is a very special year for ExploreLab as we are celebrating our 25th group of explorers. This shouldn’t go by unnoticed! We would like to invite you to […]

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Unbias intervention policies on former detached-wards psychiatric hospitals

Unbias intervention policies on former detached-wards psychiatric hospitals

Andrea Fusaro

The great reformation of the mental healthcare system in Europe left behind a great number of architectural relics. Being built straddling between the XIX and the XX century in the outskirts of their cities, the detached-wards psychiatric hospitals got swallowed up by the urban fabric after post-World War 2 the economic growth, and are now enclosed cities in the cities. Of course the social, cultural and historical legacy of these places together with their out-of-scale size don’t help in any intervention scenario. Four decades were not enough to give a new life to the many complexes, and the few realized projects show that the current approach can’t be in any way effective nor sustainable.

Starting with an investigation on how these complexes could endure the many crises of their long lifespan, this project wants to determine from an unbiased perspective a new common practice of intervention for these forgotten realities. The outcomes will be used pioneeringly as a direct input to determine a new managerial, social and architectural program, that will then feed the design of an exemplary case study used as a showcase for this unexplored approach.

A population in rehab

A population in rehab

Maurits van Ardenne

We are unable to anticipate a threat coming from within our developed societies. The ongoing technological progress is slowly paralysing our population.

The speed of modern-day life affects our mental health. Our brains are no longer able to cope with the overexposure we receive on a daily basis from our built environment. And since technological progress increases exponentially, the quantity of urban stressors will only intensify more. We will experience an increase of mental fatigue while being on our daily routine. Eventually, our impairment on mental health will affect our physical health by weakening our resistance.

The documentary ‘A Swedish Theory of Love’ shows how more and more people withdraw from society and isolate themselves. Depressions (about 30% of the population), burn-outs and non-involvement seem to become a new social norm. We clearly need to adapt our living environment to avoid further mental paralysis of our population.

The Frame: Abstraction, Prediction, Structure

The Frame: Abstraction, Prediction, Structure

Pu Hsien Henry Chan

The frame is described in the Oxford English Dictionary as a structure that surrounds a certain object — immediately referring to practical matters such as the window-frame, the door-frame, the picture-frame. It should also be considered that the frame is the subject of a certain action: framing. What does it mean to frame an object? When deploying the frame, it is implied that there is an understanding of the existence of the object within its perimeter: its conditions are framed.

However, the power of the frame might reside in its intrinsic connotations with structure — or giving structure to. The frame is not merely a way of confirming the conditions of an object, whether a past or a present condition. What if we suggest that the frame can also be utilised to incentivise, to initiate, to structure, and to create a predictive condition?

The research will focus on the conceptualisation of the frame, making enquiries primarily into philosophical and political frameworks. In the process, we might ask the question, how does the frame function beyond its rhetorical aspect? How does the frame have physicality that is relevant to the architectural and urban scale? How does the frame historically relate to the Fordist mode of production and its implications in the urban fabric? Who is the actor when deploying the frame? This research will lay the foundation for a design proposal in which the frame as a conceptual model will be utilised to (re)structure urban life and development.

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