Sights Unseen: A Spatial Representation of Bipolar Disorder
The objective of this thesis is to create a spatial representation of a bipolar episode. The role of this concept is to investigate the nature of spaces and their relations with dissimilar spaces, resembling a first-hand account of spasmodic incidents experienced by a person with this manic depressive illness. The site is located in an abandoned mine as to represent a feeling of isolation, such as experience by a bipolar individual during an episode of depression. The existing infrastructure incorporated with the new formal experience is to be used in understanding the two poles of bipolar disorder and exploiting those values to create a unified space. The design will be used to spatially organize a chaotic experience to bring awareness of mental illnesses. "Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depressive illness, is a brain disorder that is a roller-coaster in mood, energy levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. People with bipolar disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotion, cha es in sleep patterns and unusual behaviors. These distinct periods are called 'mood episodes,' either associated with mania or depression. Mood episodes are drastically different from the moods and behaviors that are typical for the average person."1 During mania, euphoria or irritability are manifested through symptoms such as: destructibility, insomnia, grandiosity, flight of irrational and high speed thought. Depression is characterized by feelings of exhaustion, self hatred, and suicidal thoughts. Mood episodes can include both manic and depressive symptoms, which is referred to as a mixed state can cycle rapidly between mania and depression phases, from three to four times a year to several times during a single day. Sometimes, a person with severe episodes of mania or depression also have psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions. The psychotic symptoms tend to match the person's extreme mood. "Abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex result in a cognitive disconnect in planning, working me ry, problem solving and temporal sequencing of information. Disrupted organization and execution of plans occur when there is damage to this region of the brain."2 The physical movement experienced by a bipolar individual across space can generate temporal illusions of reality. The distance between spaces and experience becomes a subjective experience. Space can be experienced as a relative location of objects of places, as the distance and expanse that separate or link place. The organization of space is dependent upon not only sight but psychological responses to reality. By shifting from one place to another, a person acquires a sense of direction. Forward, backward, and sideways are experientially differentiated, that is known subconsciously in perspicacity.