Elliott Morgan, finalist
Elliott Morgan, University of Auckland School of Architecture.
Photo by David St George
Elliott Morgan, from the University of Auckland School of Architecture, was a finalist at the 2016 NZIA Central Innovation Student Design Awards for his project ‘Morphosis of Social Conscience’.
Depression cannot be cured by architecture, but this thesis argues that social attitudes can be improved upon by the design of special programs and spaces. The proposed building is a for a preliminary form of healthcare – one that takes an obvious presence in the city. Its presence is to break stigma and social attitudes concerning the treatment of mental health. A transparent skin reveals the buildings continual occupation yet blurs the identity of the user. It is an epidermal façade that sweats, blushes and blanches like the body does while augmenting the emotions of users within. This organ in the city attempts to relieve a strained public health system, shift collective attitudes towards depression and destabilise expected notions of concealing mental health.
This brave and radical study convincingly challenges accepted views about the treatment of a serious health condition. In designing a clinic for the treatment of mental illness, Elliot embraces both sensory and highly technological possibilities. Through a façade that responds to and emotes the presence of visitors through to interior devices that recall the memory of previous occupants, visitors to this clinic are reminded that they are not alone.