Empathy Sessions
5th Istanbul Design Biennial

Cura

Ben Thorp Brown, 2019
17’34”
English with Turkish subtitles                                     

Filmed in Richard and Dion Neutra’s VDL Research House II, on Silver Lake Reservoir, Los Angeles, Cura brings to life the principles developed by the Austrian-American architect, who saw architecture as a therapeutic tool. He designed projects in which each environmental element was carefully calculated to elicit sensory and emotional responses in people. The main protagonist of the film is a tortoise, the ancient reptile embodying Cura, the goddess of care, voiced by American vocalist Joan La Barbara. The tortoise guides us through the house, delivering a monologue that mixes mythology with passages from Neutra’s main philosophical text, Survival by Design (1954).

This film was created as part of The Arcadia Center, a speculative wellness centre for our time, and a training space for a world that needs to restore its empathic abilities.

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