The future of healthcare - Dubai, February 2015

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PHARMACAFÉ- The Museum of Future Government Services, Dubai, February 2015

Bompas & Parr ran the PharmaCafé, filling it with peppermint mists, herbal drink concoctions and a remedial ginger mist to explore the future of healthcare. The installation was part of the 2015 Museum of Future of Government Services - a project by the Prime Minister’s Office of the UAE directed by Tellart with an international team of top design studios including Specular, SOFTlab, Bompas & Parr, Octo, Idee und Klang, and Future Cities Catapult. The onsite build and installation was done by Tellart in collaboration with PublicisLive, Neumann & Müller and Projex UAE.

Guests were given a specific nutraceutical drink based on their own DNA, obtained by a hand scan at the entrance to the café. Bompas & Parr designed ayurvedic-inspired drinks, blending herbs, spices and flowers. Ingredients ranged from violet, chamomile, lemongrass and dandelion to turmeric, thyme, rosemary and lovage. Violet for its antiseptic qualities, dandelion as nature’s richest green vegetable source of beta-carotene, turmeric to boost the hormone BDNF, which increases growth of new neurons and fights degenerative processes in the brain and lovage, which contains quercetin, a flavonol found in fruits and vegetables which acts as a natural anti-histamine.

Flavour ‘pills’, were added to each drink and gave guests an alerting burst of flavour as they took their remedy. Cherry pills were chosen as a source of anthocyanin, violet for its antiseptic qualities and peppermint for it’s digestive benefits. Bespoke glass dry ice pouring flasks – based on lab-based conical and retort flasks – were used by lab coat-wearing assistants who filled each glass with an energizing, memory- and alertness-enhancing peppermint mist.

Ginger, prized as a reviving stimulant for its medicinal properties, and with an aroma known to activate the trigeminal nerve, was the last of the PharmaCafe’s medicinal experiences. A ginger wellness mist, floating and falling from the shoulder-height bar, provided guests with a final restorative boost before leaving their PharmaCafé appointment.

Photography by Iska Lupton.