The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the notion that only medical knowledge is conducive to health, foregrounding the urgent necessity to rethink the entanglements between body, environment, infrastructure, culture, and governmentality. In this biopolitical environment, public medical knowledge should include and prioritize patients’ lived experiences of illness at different scales (familial, national, global) and intensities (death, loss, long-term effects of an unprecedented disease). Thus, patient vulnerabilities bring into consideration the complex web of relations between humans and built/natural environments and spaces. As vulnerabilities in medical access and treatment become more visible, so does the importance of architecture in facilitating health. There emerges a need to break down the scale of design in response to the mobility of sick bodies and to environmental elements such as air and light.
This roundtable will discuss care and its multiple and diverse configurations. In the context of this event, care ranges from looking after a patient, to being attuned to the needs of the self and its surroundings, to reorganizing the built medical environment. Our roundtable will discuss how visual art, architecture, and medical technologies can produce, contest, configure and disseminate spatial and embodied forms of knowledge, and call attention to care.