Wellcome Labyrinth

The Wellcome Labyrinth was submitted as part of an open competition being held by the Wellcome Trust. Though unsuccessful, the proposal has been entered as part of a second bid with in collaboration with a number of institutions, headed by The University of Cambridge.  

The objective of the installation was to both describe and test the relationship between the urban built form and dementia, as participants would be the wider public and those with dementia. The design was structured around the narrative of a typical journey from; a shop, through a city square, along a residential street, to the home, and finally to the bedroom. Key tectonic elements within these spatial conditions are highlighted and manifested at 1:1, each designed to compensate for a particular impairment experienced by those with dementia. These were designed in combination with an extensive literature review, interviews with those living with AD and their carers, as well as Virtual Reality testing. It was decided at an early stage that rather than attempting to test these urban vignettes within a single monolithic block, the proposal would be better experienced if split into eight parts or themes, with the theme of navigation acting as the consistent thread unifying the design. This led to the construction of a labyrinth in which each theme is revealed to the user through discovery. Importantly, in contrast to a maze, a labyrinth contains no dead ends and, with the initial appearance of paradox, this structure was design to aid the navigation of those with dementia.