Bedlam: The Asylum and Beyond

Madlove: A Designer Asylum was an installation commissioned for The Wellcome Collection’s 2016/17 exhibition, Bedlam: The Asylum and Beyond.


For this exhibition, we visited 8 mental health hospitals in England and worked with 95 workshop participants.  These included high security, low security and specialist mental health hospitals.

In the spring of 2016, this research gave us an understanding of the needs of acute care, BAME patients and those who have been in hospital for extended periods.



With illustrator Rosemary Cunningham, a 7 metre panel was created to share our research process in the exhibition.



With Ben Kovalsky and James Christian (Projects Office) we designed and made a conceptual model of a utopian mental health hospital that included a sleepy forest, treehouse bedrooms, a bakery, a town square, a market garden and many nooks.

A day in the life

During our research for this exhibition, we asked patients to describe their perfect day in the perfect mental health hospital.   6 of these were chosen and presented as comic strips.


Madlove Pocket Asylum

Upon leaving the installation, the audience were invited to fill in a Madlove Pocket Asylum, a leaflet to be stored in the wallet for future use.  The leaflet has 3 questions –

1. How could you change your environment to better support your mental health?

2.  How would you support a friend/relative/co-worker if they were struggling with their mental health?

3. What support might you need if you were struggling with your mental health?