Micro-Infrastructure + The Epidemiology Screening Clinic
Professor Eunjeong Seong
Now more than ever we are experiencing the effects of the climate crisis. Scientists have begun referring to this time as the pandemic era, and our current crisis will continue to be a new reality. Currently, there are 15 epidemics going on worldwide and a new emerging disease surfaces five times a year. Catastrophic loss in biodiversity coupled with deforestation and aggressive conversion of wildlife for economic development push farms and people closer to the wild and risk the spread of disease. The current pandemic, even as it unfolds in the form of an urgent crisis, is offering larger lessons, highlighting faults within our current infrastructure and its inability to handle extreme crises. This flaw within our system creates widespread anxiety and fear within our communities and clinics through organization and lack of ability to adapt.
Dyson uses unique chambers to move air and separate particles, such as the use of centrifugal force within multiple stages and funnels. This allows the air to be cleaned and exit towards the back of the machine. I was really interested in the way this cyclone motion pushes particles and bacteria against the wall, allowing it to funnel out.
Taking this movement of air into consideration, in addition to the anxiety felt when entering a clinic in the wake of a pandemic, isolated pods were created to use natural ventilation and search for safety within an individual enclosure. These individual pods are constructed entirely of a single material, carbon fiber. The material is rapidly deplorable as it is incredibly lightweight and easy to handle, moldable, and is also structural. The carbon fiber facade can be molded to allow for airflow cents to be constructed for each individual pod as an evolution of the Dyson.
The pod can organize itself through a connecting cross that attaches to one another. The symbol of the cross gives a signal to the community that it is not only a medical pod but a safe place of solitude as well. Each pod kit comes with a total of 20 panels, which include the facade vents, doors, connection panels, and a domed top. Each panel is fabricated to be handled by a single person in order to be rapidly assembled. The panels fit snug together using a rubber seal, while the dome inserts into the top of the pod that acts as an exhaust. The arrangement of the new clinic is extremely flexible and essentially endless. Pods can be connected or removed in order to make space for employee support areas such as nurses’ stations. The connections between the pods create an open pathway through the space, that may be closed to insert an anteroom. The carbon fiber is reflective, but not at all times, and the vaults of the facade allow for a new exchange of air and light. The pods are not only a place for testing that phases into vaccination, but also a place to heal and experience. The darkness and lightness of the material impacted by light reflect geometry and 360 air creating a unique experience where one can reflect upon the crisis, feel their fear and anxiety and ultimately reach euphoric tranquility within these temples of solitude.
The versatility and simplicity of materials can allow it to be deployed in underused and underserved areas quickly, not only in New York but all around the world. This may become a part of a new reality in the new emerging pandemic era.