Reactivating Neglected Heritages, Reweaving Unspoken Memories
A study on the adaptive reuse of former asylums into 'mind museums'
ReMIND is a two-year research project funded in 2019 by the European Union under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions Individual Fellowship programme.
The study explores the phenomena of abandonment of historic asylum within Europe surveying their reuse as museums. Today most of the asylums built in Europe from the mid-19th century until the 60s’ deinstitutionalisation process in the psychiatric care system still stand where they were, often completely or partially abandoned, left to decay, and contributing to urban decline. Nowadays we do not have a sense of potentials for their responsible adaptive reuse and they are in danger. Likewise, once converted into museums, their role in effecting attitudinal change in visitors that may help to dismantle stigma and promote awareness toward mental health has not been properly investigated.
ReMIND addresses these gaps. To do so, the project integrates various disciplines, conjoining complementary research approaches from museum and heritages studies and architectural design and deploying different and experimental methodologies for visitor studies. By focusing on the adaptive reuse of former asylums for cultural purposes ReMIND investigates on the potentials for “mind museums” to provoke emotional responses in visitors and foster critical refection on the histories and contemporary problems of dealing with mental health in society.