Looking For The Eye Candy is a series of speculative installations, which are the results of the workshop that I was leading at the SESAM 2021 POLIKLINIKA after a week of brainstorming and spontaneous creativity with my team. It’s a collective creation that invites you to re-imagine the healthcare environment in a playful manner through serendipitous discoveries inside the common rooms within the Poliklinika (polyclinic in english).
The theme for this year’s SESAM (Small European Students of Architecture Meeting), POLIKLINIKA, is focusing on HEALTHCARE, and it’s relation to architecture at the physical, methodological, and metaphorical levels.
Situated in the city of SLAVUTYCH, a city built to rehouse the workers of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP) and their families, after being evacuated from Pripyat, following the explosion of the fourth reactor in 1986 — the worst nuclear catastrophe in history. The new city would not only provide dwellings to those who had been evicted from Pripyat, but also to heal them from the trauma they had experienced.
The building of poliklinika (polyclinic in English) is located in the city centre. Built based on population growth projections that never happened, the hospital occupies over 10 000 sqm. Following the collapse of the USSR, the local municipality couldn’t afford the main city hospital to work at full capacity, and Poliklinika was indefinitely closed in 2014. Over the past six years of abandonment, the building has been rapidly deteriorating. The polyclinic was a prime example of the late modernist architecture designed to heal the psychological and physical trauma and wounds of those residents affected by the radioactive cloud.
In order to activate the space, and aligned with the intention of focussing on the architectural legacy of the city, SESAM use the ’poliklinika’ (clinic, hospital) as a base of operations for SESAM 2021. During the event, participants not only inhabit the building but also have the chance to use it as a space for workshops, where we propose spatial experiments, as well as for various events.Interventions inside the building will remain until the next event, creating a platform for experimentation on forms of habitation, interacting with empty spaces of the building, as well as re-thinking and reflecting on earlier interventions.
Through the activation of the hospital ruin, SESAM 2021 aims to bring Slavutych back to avant-garde architectural discourse, where it was at the beginning of its creation when the city was designed by leading architects of eight different countries.
SESAM 2021 Poliklinika is organised by EASA Ukraine and is a part of Slavutych - Small Ukrainian Capital of Culture 2021 and is supported by Ukrainian Culture Foundation.
In SESAM 2021 Poliklinika, each residency consists of six WORKSHOPS, run by architectural students and young professionals under the umbrella theme ‘Poliklinika’ (polyclinic in English), focusing on healthcare and its relation to architecture. The workshops cover a wide spectrum of practices in architecture, from design and construction to theoretic research and conceptual art.
In the workshop I proposed to this residency, Looking For The Eye Candy, my idea was to make the act of waiting into a healing process, through the serendipitous discoveries inside the waiting room within the Poliklinika. By adding interactive elements and activities into the space, users are invited to explore their environment, using playfulness as a means of distraction to dispel uncertain feelings during waiting periods.
Photo credit/ Bohdah Voloh, Anna Pozina, Egor Shtefan, Maris Prieditis
We have three selected spaces at the Poliklinika, which are Pipe Room, Black and White Room, and SunRoom. Each space is developed along a ‘quote’ that relates to our ‘senses’, using the founding objects in the poliklinika, we designed a series of interactive elements and activities that can "guide" the audience to discover all those interesting features within the space through engaging with their senses.
These speculative installations have involved a variety of creative exercises, such as colour and shape studies of the city, playground visiting, sensory exercise, and of course, a lot of FUN :D.
“Listening is hard work. Listen carefully not only with your ears, but also listen with all of your senses. You will understand better.”
- Debasish Mridha
Black & White Room
“The hands want to see, the eyes want to caress.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“Senses empower limitations, senses expand vision within borders, senses promote understanding through pleasure.”