A couple of months ago I went to a talk by Charles Jencks at the Carnegie Museum of Art about Maggie Centres. I had never heard of this before but due to recent events, it perked my interest and I decided to attend with two of my classmates. In the most basic explanation, Maggie Centres are these beautiful architectural buildings for cancer patients to provide support to each other and get unconventional cancer therapy (yoga, meditation, spirituality, as well as practical advice). They are located throughout Great Britain and are always across from NHS hospitals. The buildings and spaces inside them are simply astounding. I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful and wonderful they seem.
Photos from the Maggie Centre exhibit at CMOA
Especially after having done my thesis on the perception of design, I’m struck by the simple but astounding basis of these Maggie Centres. Bringing together design (architecture specifically in this case) and healthcare, while this grounded sense of humanity and doing good, Maggie Centres seem like such a wonderful simple solution toward a complicated problem. Obviously saying that Maggie Centres are a solution is also an over exaggeration, but at least they are a concrete step in the right direction. Each of the centres is also built by a renowned architect, helping to elevate the architecture and media to a higher status as well.
The talk by Charles Jencks was simple but so profound at the same time. Hearing someone’s personal story develop into this process of creating this international network of spaces was amazing. I haven’t had a chance to check out his book yet, but it’s on the list.
This just struck me as the prime example of design and social good coming together. As someone who wants to contribute to the world in a productive way (and whose thesis inherently believes that), my admiration for Charles Jencks is undeniable.