Metamorphosis of Care is a master thesis that aims to use visual representations inspired by Swedish folklore and Norse mythology as communication tools to connect notions of nature, culture, and care in Sweden. The representations serve as the foundation for spatial sequences that provide society with tangible and intangible ways of reconnecting to the Swedish forest. Thus, traditional attitudes of care, both in terms of human and environmental health, are reanimated.
Throughout history, our understanding of health has always been profoundly tied to the natural world, and shaped by wider cultural practices. However, today’s dominant westernised healthcare system overly emphasises on synthetic medication which has supplanted the intuitive connection and knowledge of our bodies and minds that was once grounded in a deep understanding of our natural environment.
Care for the natural world is crucial now more than ever, as the Swedish forest industry is masking destructive practices under the guise of sustainability. These practices stem from the same narrow worldview that is apparent in the dominant healthcare model. The thesis counters these harmful attitudes through a research by design methodology, as a way to re-establish the connection to society’s shared stories and lost interaction with the animate landscape.
The methodology included speculative spatial representations such as maquettes and visual abstractions capturing and conveying the intangible concepts derived from this research. Narratives from Swedish folklore and Norse mythology were used as a tool to awaken tacit associations between human health and the natural world.
These methods culminated in speculative spatial design materialised as ritual structures wrapped around specific tree species. The structures aim to raise awareness of the value of trees and transmit their individual qualities. Undergoing the ritual will shift our view of trees as mere objects, and instead help us appreciate them as living entities like our ancestors did.
By proposing ritual structures in the urban fabric where culture and nature meet again, Metamorphosis of Care adopts a holistic approach as a critique of contemporary practices in the healthcare and forest industry, helping to redefine the notion of care in a world which looks through the lens of functionality.
Metamorphosis of Care
Transitioning to a Holistic Future