Kenneth Wu

Home for a patient with room for a guest
A Softening of the Medical Gaze Through a Domestic Lens.

This project functions upon a fundamental grounding in Foucault’s reading of the clinic, in that a patient must subject themselves to the field of observation and examination of a professional authority when entering any form of treatment. This power dynamic can become especially problematic within a mental health environment, where trauma survivors often carry an embedded hesitation to trust others. In patients with persisting traumas of neglect and rejection, this distrust can exacerbate notably towards any figure of authority like their doctor.

If the medical gaze is inevitable in a traditional clinic structure, can the gaze be subverted through a different form? If patients are forced to feel like visitors under surveillance within a clinic, then perhaps doctors should be subverted to become the visitors to the patient’s space. Perhaps in the role as a guest within a domestic setting, the doctor can allow the traumatised body to feel better entrusted and facilitated in their effort to receive therapy. It is thus important for the project to negotiate on a gradient between the patient’s hesitant dependency and the doctor’s nature to observe and scrutinise.