Audio

Photo: Aalborg University Hospital, 2022

Name

Room 12

Client

Aalborg UH, Department of Obstetrics, 2021

Artworks

Digital production ”The Light”
Ritual Interior decor

Introducing somaesthetic art [23] in one of life’s sorrowful tragedies, Studio Poesis sought to cultivate an empathetic environment for families experiencing silent births. In Room 12 at Aalborg University Hospital, a commemorative artwork and ritual called “The Light” assists the hospital staff in taking responsibility for creating a dignified aesthetic backdrop for the family’s post-event images, offering a supportive element in the grieving process.

Delivery Room 12 is the result of a Culture and Health initiative where staff, families, and the artist group have worked closely together to create a caring framework for the births of the few – yet occurring – deceased children and late-term abortions that are annually handled at Aalborg UH. This new framework enables a complete experience where design, sound, light, and ritual practices create a supportive environment for families and staff. The room has been developed under the theme of patient-centred culture and healing architecture, with a special focus on families experiencing grief and loss.

The project is part of an effort to bring even more culture into healthcare facilities, thus it is a groundbreaking example of patient-centric use of art and culture for health promotion in the hospital, providing space for difficult emotions in the grieving process.

The artwork “The Light” has been developed specifically for Room 12 and consists of a combination of various artistic practices, interior architecture, sound and media art, and dramaturgy. The room is designed as a healing and reassuring environment, using interactive digital art to create a calming backdrop for the first meeting and final farewell with the child.

In the ritual, the midwife takes on the role of a host for the farewell, and through meaningful actions, stages a beautiful and resilient shared memory to support them through the grieving process. A light is lit, a poem chosen by the family is recited, and two crocheted plush toys are shared between the parents and the child. The ritual is conducted following the principle of ‘shared participation,’ wherein artists and healthcare staff have tailored the ritual to fit the specific practices in the department.

Some of the early detected effects of the space (in fall 2022) are that it encourages open conversation and sharing of burdens and thoughts due to its homeliness and the distance from typical hospital environments. It physically and mentally relaxes the parents. The sound and media production of “The Light” creates a sensation of time standing still, and the sense of time is lost, which further envelops the atmosphere to better facilitate the grieving process. The parents feel safe leaving their child in the care of the staff, which makes it easier to leave the grounds.

The potential of this initiative lies in initiating the rehabilitation of the grief process in the exact moment to ensure that the experience and the memories created will be ones of beauty, dignity, and comfort, to avoid permanent mental scars.

Healthcare representative

Lead Midwife Sandra Bang-Schnack

Year

2022

Artists

Composer, Marie Koldkjær Højlund
Piano Kasper Staub
Director and actor, Thure Lindhardt
Nature photographer, Morten Hilmer
Interior architect, Vibeke Panduro
Designer and architect, Esben Bala Skouboe

Materials

2-wall 9 meter digital projection
5.1 sound build-in system
Homelike interior décor
Covering medical instruments

Partners

Skagerak
Fritz Hansen
VON LINNÉ studio

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Play Video

Video: Paolo Impagliazzo, 2023

“The physical surroundings can help to soothe, calm, provide warmth, offer hope, and perhaps contribute to making it a bit meaningful, even in a situation where all might feel hopeless.”

Leading midwife, Sandra Bang-Schnack, Aalborg UH

Photo: Studio Poesis, 2022

”We focus very much on the psychological aspect. And I think, for example with our ritual, it helps to create good memories, that they can take with them when they leave the delivery room.”

Midwife, Mette Ville Jensen, Aalborg UH

”The light”, Aalborg UH, 2022

”It’s like you could sort of close yourself off in a bubble, and we had managed to clarify with work why I couldn’t come. So, we kind of had the time to be in here, and then the world could just stand still… the time it took, and I think definitely – for me at least – the sounds have been instrumental in keeping my nervous system calm.”

Mother of stillborn, Aalborg

Photo: Aalborg University Hospital, 2022

Photo: Paolo Impagliazzo, 2023

“When she was born, she was lying in her crib. She lay over there (in the corner in a crib), and we had this (sound of The North Sea) playing, and I remember that as a very fine visual thing, seeing her lying there with the waves in the background. I thought it was just lovely.”

Mother of stillborn, Aalborg

Photo: Paolo Impagliazzo, 2023

”The light”, Aalborg UH, 2022

Behind the scenes

”It was important to find rituals that could support and help, without attracting a lot of attention. Rituals that could contribute, but not dominate the situation.”

Thure Lindhardt, director and actor

Photo: studio poēsís, 2021

Play Video

Video: Marie Højllund. 2022

Chasing moods for the digital artwork “The Light”, to create an atmosphere from nature as a positive distraction [13] in the background during labour and the following time for rest and goodbye.

Photo: studio poēsís, 2021

Photo: Morten Hilmer, 2021

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