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  • Bronte Morris-Poolman Damian Kercz

Art x Pop-Up COVID-19 Testing Centre

Authors: Bronte Morris-Poolman (@_bmpdesign) & Damian Kercz (@dakercz)

In collaboration with: University of Toronto John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design

Artwork featured by: Kirsten McCrea, Wenting Li, and Jacquie Comrie.

As part of Professor Stephen Verderber’s Master’s of Architecture studio Redeployable Architecture for Health at the University of Toronto, Damian Kercz and Bronte Morris-Poolman designed Art x Pop-Up COVID-19 Testing Centre, which is a modular redeployable COVID-19 testing centre.

We both firmly believe in the healing power of art and think that the inclusion of public art that reflects each community in which each pop-up is deployed would be a welcomed addition to the stressful experience of going to a testing centre.Art x Pop-Up COVID-19 Testing Centre blurs the lines between art and healthcare architecture to humanize the COVID-19 testing centre experience. We envisioned how a collaboration between Public Health Ontario and local Toronto mural artists could bring joy to people during this anxious time. Our concept was to create a backdrop upon which public art could shine while also considering strict COVID-19 health protocols. We feel that during unprecedented times such as these, it is important to remember and celebrate the power that art has to heal and bring people together.

Our module is based on the size of a standard shipping container so units can be easily shipped anywhere. It is made of simple building materials and can quickly and easily be constructed at any given site. Its modular nature means that it can be rearranged for drop-in or appointment-based systems or even as a vaccination centre in the future.

Our design features beautiful murals created by Toronto-based artists Kirsten McCrea (@hello.kirsten), Wenting Li (@wentingthings) and Jacquie Comrie (@jacquiecomrie). Their amazing work can be found at the following websites:

Our modular pop-up COVID-19 testing centre can be deployed at any location across the city and assembled within a host structure such as a big box store or a church. As cases continue to rise within the province, testing continues to be an important part of managing the spread of the virus. The rapid deployment possibilities of Art x Pop-Up COVID-19 Testing Centre are an opportunity to meet the testing needs of the province while also promoting public art and creating community specific public art installations.

While at our pop-up, patients can benefit from the healing properties of art and can be distracted from the stressful testing experience. They will get the opportunity to learn about each artist by scanning a QR code and they will be redirected to an online platform supporting each pop-up. While getting tested at our pop-up, we hope that patients get the chance to learn more about local artists while receiving high quality medical services in a less anxious and distressing environment.

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