Architecture and Sociology: Urban Drug Rehabilitation Treatment Program
86112: Heterotopia

“A third image is the gap between boundaries, the place where the edges of things come close to touching.  The place of architecture seems to he here in these palaces… This architecture is not disciplinary, but interdisciplinary.  It seeps out of its Capsules:  Philosophy, science, literature”

Jennifer Bloomer, Art Papers (July /Aug1985)

This studio proposes to study the conceptual roots of Foucault’s writings on the heterotopia of deviation in reference to the conceptual framing and design of a compound for people who are trying to cure themselves from their addition to drugs. Foucault describes the behavioural attributes of this population as “those in which individuals whose behaviour is deviant in relation to the required mean or norm are placed. “Clearly these people constitute a heterotopia of crisis torn and shattered by the space (urban space) in which we live draws us out of ourselves, ….a space that claws and gnaws at us….as Foucault outlines in the first principle of heterotopia.

These patients and their caregivers grapple with complex and loaded histories and are geared to transition the individual to a non-addicted state. In reference to Foucault’s second principle;…. this description of heterotopias is that a society, as its history unfolds, can make an existing heterotopia function in a very different fashion”. The impact of the multiple overlays of this conundrum of history and well-being must be negotiated between a deviant world of drugs and other underground temptations and one of reclaiming a reinterpreted place in our society. Strategies for treatment often require intensive cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) coupled with motivational enhancement therapy (MET). The central exercise in this design studio is to create a significantly large expansion of the F Ward treatment compound in Callan Park to host a new residency and treatment retreat for recovering addicts who will require a host of services and council. The intention of the project is to consider the place of recovery and rehabilitation in the history of the city and its potential role via architecture in the contemporary city. The exercises are focused on developing methodologies and analysis and processes that bridge the gap between idea and form.