The Hans Berger Clinic in Oosterhout specialises in handling people with epilepsy and sleep disorders.
Unlike in a normal hospital, the patients do not spend all day in bed. Tanja Smeets was asked, together with the designers Tejo Remy and René Veenhuizen, to create a pleasant environment where the patients can hang out. Smeets shares with Remy and Veenhuizen a preference for complex structures and an unusual use of materials. The trio named the project 'Homeshaker', a title that suggests the creation of a homely atmosphere in a building for people whose lives have literally been shaken up.
'To minimise the effects of an epileptic fit, you need warmth and softness: an environment with rounded forms and lots of places to sit and lie down. We chose used wool blankets as our basic material. We stacked and/or cut them in strips and coiled bundles of different coloured strips around each other.'
This created brain-like structures that were glued together to make thick rugs for two small spaces. In one space, the brain rug is draped across a base of chairs; above it hangs a spiral-shaped chandelier of blanket strips. In the other space the rug is directly on the floor, under an enormous lampshade: a large, soft cap that dampens sounds, weakens impulses and lovingly protects those who sit beneath it.