Uncertainty is part of everyday life, job security, Brexit, pandemics and isolation are just a few of the things that people have to deal with, trying to manage their own uncertainties requires engaging with. Uncertainty can lead to stress disorders and anxiety that comes from this. The dynamics of the waves, the uncertainty of the constants of the waves coming and going is a reflection of life. Engagement with the sea has always been regarded as very therapeutic, in these unprecedented times, it has never been this important to take advantage of this. Gazing at the sea and swimming bring pleasure, joy and relax the mind and soul, taking the mind off all the everyday stress, depression and anxiety.
Brighton has a long history of engagement with the sea, whether it be for transport, for fishing, swimming or even bathing for health. There are also the finer details in the activities in between, such as the playfulness of gazing at the waves, throwing pebbles into the sea, running by the waves as they touch the beach. Through exploring the processes that people engage with the sea, I have designed a building that enhances and encourages people’s engagement, step by step building confidence in people helping them tackle their issues of uncertainty. I will design a centre that offers acclimatisation to uncertainty.
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My project is rooted in the current uncertainties that we all are encountering and the works of Dr. Richard Russell, an 18th Century physician who was known for encouraging his patients to use sea water for therapy. This involved the submersion or bathing in and even drinking seawater. Dr Russell played a key role in transforming Brighton and Hove from a fishing village into a holiday destination. Dr, Russell recommended especially that people try the water at Brighton, proclaiming that sea water had superior healing properties to those cures provided by inland spas and his ideas were widely acclaimed in England and abroad.