Agoraphobia is a fear based type of anxiety disorder. Individuals fear being in places where it may be difficult or embarrassing to get out quickly. Agoraphobia is also related to panic attacks and consequently agoraphobics avoid public places, particularly where crowds gather. People with this disorder seek places of refuge where they feel safe. The idea for this project was to create a design inspired by the nature of this illness. A series of “escape” pods for a single occupant to study or rest are created across the Woodbury
campus. Sites are chosen where a large expanse of exterior wall is available to attach the units. The harsh tectonic of the exterior of the pod contrasts sharply with the womb-like, secure interior and expresses the two extremes in anxiety level that agoraphobics may feel. Utilities such as electricity are obtained through a parasitic connection to the utilities of existing adjacent buildings. Given that agoraphobia is a mental disorder, the design is also inspired by the literal representation of brain cells. The individual inside of the cell feels secure and relaxed. All the units have flexible leg system that could be controlled on the ground or inside of the units through a remote control panel. Using that control panel the individual inside may choose to move up, down, right and left to find a desired private spot in the above ground level. Each site that was chosen for the units are located on the campus and all of them have adjacent walls that unit can grab to. Escape units are not designed to heal the illness, but to provide a quiet, comforting environment for private studies done on the school campus.