Mental Disabilities | T5

In recent years it has been proven that students seeking medical help and counselling has increased (BBC, 2015). In Reading University alone, the number of students requesting counselling is said to be increasing by 20% year-on-year. With the overall UK average of students requesting counselling/medical help increasing by 10% (BBC, 2015).  Another piece of data showed that Architecture ranks 5th in the list of jobs most linked to suicide (Dezeen, 2016). I thought that this applied mainly because Architecture and Interior Design frequently overlap, and my clients for Millennium Point are Interior Design students. These figures clearly indicate that universities have large negative effects on their students mental and wellbeing. Students are leaving university with more than they bargained for. They're leaving either with a MA or a BA in their desired subject, along long term mental illness.

Due to the fact that my study pod in Millennium Point would be set in the year 2020; I believe that with increasing intuition and maintenance fees, many students are going to have more and more mental illnesses. So I wanted to manipulate my pod/interior that would surely reduce their mental illness symptoms, or at least make them feel at ease once entering the space.

One major way in which the interior can be manipulated subliminally to aid the students is colour. It's been proven that colours like Red or Yellow can be amazing colours that can encourage creativity and creation (Huffington Post, 2011) However if they are used too heavily, they can cause people (especially people with ADD/ADHD to become aggressive or agitated. Whereas colours like Blue and Green are colours that ultimately make even people without ADD/ADHD calmer (Huffington Post 2011).
FIGURE ONE: Reach and Rise                                                                      FIGURE TWO: MAGDA Easy Chair

By comparing the 2 interiors above, it's obvious to see that they are both beautifully crafted and well thought out interiors. However they have 2 clear differences too; with one being mainly Red and the other Blue. With mental illnesses and learning difficulties in mind, many users would find the interior on the right (Red) to be bearable only for a short period of time, and they would in turn find the interior on the left (Blue) to be bearable for long periods of time. Thus proving that colours play a large role when it comes to making users either comfortable or uncomfortable.

FIGURE THREE: The Templeogue Dental Practice

The Architectural firm Urban Agency, designed a dental practice in Dublin ('The Templeogue Dental Practice') The architects designed the dentists in order to make visiting the dentist less of a scary experience. The used a healthy mixture of natural and calming materials that instantly make users feel safe and warm. For example, wood panelling and plants, also the minimal colour palette, of beige, grey and white is enough to make any user feel at ease.
FIGURE FOUR: The Templeogue Dental Practice

Another reason why I chose this space in order to gather inspiration was mainly due to the fact that the use of daylighting, along with decorative/task lighting, would definitely reduce the anxiety levels in the patients. The large windows also play a role in this, as they would help keep the patient distracted and calm also.

Also another aspect to this space that I realised was that all the planes are of a different material/colour, meaning that someone with visual impairments would be able to experience this space with ease, just as much as the next user who has slightly better eyesight.

Overall, I want to create a space where multiple students from different mentally and physically impaired backgrounds can all work together in harmony without feeling like they're a burden on anyone else. A space where students who have either depression or anxiety can work with ease. Even if they have a lot on their mind, the space should provide them with ample setting/atmosphere to make them calm again. The Templeouge Dental Practice proves that Interior Design can play a large role when it comes to either aiding or worsening a user's disabilities.

FIGURE ONE: Richardson Sadeki (2016) 'Reach and Rise' Available here: Last Accessed: 05/03/17
FIGURE TWO MAGDA Chair (2015) 'Easy Chair' Available here: Last Accessed: 05/03/17
FIGURE THREE: Designed by Urban Agency (2016) 'Templeogue Dental Practice' Available here: Last Accessed: 04/03/17
FIGURE  FOUR: Designed by Urban Agency (2016) 'Templeogue Dental Practice' Available here: Last Accessed: 04/03/17
CITATION: BBC (2015) 'Rising numbers of stressed students seek help' Available here: Last Accessed: 05/03/17
CITATION: Dezeen (2016) 'Architecture ranks fifth in the list of jobs most linked to suicide' Available here: Last Accessed: 05/03/17
CITATION: Huffington Post (2011) 'How Colour Can Make You Feel At Home' Available here: Last Accessed: 05/03/17