Luciole Design


It was all in our heads

A mental health facility concept to explore ideas

There was no chance at all that this place would get built, but it was a great opportunity to learn about designing for people suffering from schizophrenia.

Exploring therapeutic design

This was part of an idea to create an interdisciplinary team to explore new boundaries. On board were a psychiatrist, an architectural firm and ourselves. We picked a vacant lot to anchor the thing to reality and started sketching, with design input provided by the psychiatrist. We learned a lot about planning a facility for people suffering from schizophrenia, and devised ways to accept the challenge of fitting this facility into an urban center.

Then the architects walked out. We still lacked a building concept, having only developed the program at that point. There we were with a bit of interest in the doctor's medical group, and no structure.

It was either quit everything, looking like a bunch of flakes or draw up a building. We started sketching. Piles of tracing paper piled up on the floor, rejected concepts all. Then, an idea. Stepped roof with solar, a walled garden, cafeteria, offices, dwelling areas, common areas, calm spaces.

All that was left was to model the place and show the completed rough concept to the doctor's medical group.

As expected, the project never advanced. Also as expected, we learned a lot about therapeutic design, things we never would have known if we had not dared to jump into this challenge.

We never heard from the architects again.


Looking at these images, I wonder if I should open the file in SketchUp and do some better renderings. Nah. Too busy.