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SENSE OF DEPARTURE SENSORY STIMULATION AND THE TREATMENT OF CHILDREN WITH PSYCHIATRIC ILLNESS

Brooke Warner Thesis Research: Fall 2015 New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University


For Gloria

and Dad


With gratitude-

Lauren Imperatore

"There are only two ways to live your life: One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle"


TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER THREE : THE SITE

CHAPTER ONE : UNDERSTANDING SPACE INTRODUCTION ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY THESIS STATEMENT MENTAL ILLNESS UNDERSTANDING COGNITION SENSORY INTEGRATED APPROACH ANTECEDENT PRECEDENT CONCLUSION TERMS OF CRITICISM

5 6 7 8-10 11-13 14-15 16 17-18 19 20

CHAPTER TWO : THE DESIGN LINK 22 HYPOTHESIS 23 THE VEHICLE 24 PROGRAM RESEARCH METHODS 25-26 EXPERT INTERVIEW 27-30 CASE STUDY: BOSTON CHILDREN'S MUSEUM 31 PROGRAM CASE STUDY 32 DEVELOPING A PROGRAM 33 SPATIAL SUMMARY 34 ADJACENCY MATRIX 35-36 SCHEMATICS: BUBBLES + BLOCKS 37-50 ROOM DIAGRAMS 51 CONCLUSION Thesis | Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION + INITIAL CRITERIA 53 SITE ONE: ANALYSIS 54-57 SITE ONE: CAD DOCUMENTATION 58 SITE TWO: ANALYSIS 59-61 SITE TWO: CAD DOCUMENTATION 62 SITE COMPARISON + SCORING 63 SITE CHOICE + CONCLUSION 64

CHAPTER FOUR : PARTI + CONCLUSION INTRODUCTION: PROCESS 66 FINAL PARTI + STATEMENT 67 PARTI MODEL 68 CONCLUSION

69

BIBLIOGRAPHY: LITERATURE BIBLIOGRAPHY: IMAGES

70 71

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INTRODUCTION Whether or not we acknowledge it, our surroundings compose our emotional selves. If we want to evade the bitter throes of winter, we escape to a luxurious resort on a faraway island, immersing ourselves in a foreign tropical world. If we feel longing for someone we’ve lost, we remember them in the solace and reprieve of a cemetery. If we’re exhausted from daily life, the familiar creases in our living- room couches, anticipated creaks of our hardwood floors, carefully chosen colored walls are artifacts of comfort within a space we feel most ourselves. These places evoke specific emotional responses in our brains- why do we seek out such experiences to feel a certain way? Undoubtedly, a profound connection remains between our minds and the world around us. The ability for an enclosed space to influence our internalized feelings, thereby making or breaking a certain mood, emotion, or opinion about ourselves and the rest of the world, holds an immeasurable amount of power in swaying human behavior. The built environment we find ourselves in serves as a tactile prompt into how we frame our emotional mindsets- albeit in the moment or long term. This, in and of itself, can either positively or negatively impact overall state of mind. Identity and place are intertwined, the complexity of the two merely explainable through observation and hypotheses on human behavior within diverse settings.

Thesis Research | Chapter One

The composition of self may partially rest in personal experience and brain wiring, but is also framed by memory of the places we’ve been, the places we inhabit daily, and the places not yet known to us, but which lay in our future. A built environment may instill in us a sense of self- it may become somewhere we find our “true” identity, or perhaps a new one altogether. It holds the ability to frame our internal mentality, thereby prompting us to adjust our thoughts and emotions to various surroundings. In the context of mental health, our emotional identities may be significantly impacted by the surrounding space. No human is immune to this- regardless of age, race, or economic status. For children especially, this may provoke feelings of discomfort and angst in certain environments. Nonetheless, In the darkest corners of the mind- the alcoves of inexplicable sadness, depression, and psychiatric malaise, we must remember to search for peace in the walls which surround us.

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ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY

Environmental psychology has broadly been defined as an area in which the relationship humans have with their surrounding environment engages their cognition, behavior, and emotional selves.2 We encounter different surroundings as we navigate through life, but the majority of people never questions how external factors influence internal identity. One could argue that the mission of a built environment extends far beyond its functional counterparts; these spaces pervade the psychological and visceral realms of our brains.3 This particular area of study can be interpreted as abstract and capricious, since it’s virtually impossible to define how the variation of individual psychological states may relate to different atmospheres. However, it’s worthy to understand the importance of the correlation between humans and the constructed world; further study provides guidance that may contribute to the creation of built environments in which people of ill psychological states can thrive and benefit from.

Spatial design may very well be a vehicle towards fostering positive psychological development and growth. Attempting to understand the natural complexity of this concept across the entire population may never be fully grasped. However, a general conclusion can be stated: cognitive response to the built environment plays a significant role in the state of psychological well-being.5 Moreover, environmental characteristics are correlated to two different, but interconnected components: sensory stimulation and emotional response. Substantial research has supported the notion that specific environmental attributes- albeit visual, tangible, or auditory, have a profound impact on psychological being, depending on the individual’s mental state. In combination with underlying mental illness and external factors, design may influence the treatment and maintenance of children and young adults with psychiatric disorders. Knowledge about cognition and visual perception within a child’s brain in regards to sensory stimulation could serve as the basis for design. All humans may benefit from this proposal, particularly the most hopeless and mentally troubled, and arguably, the most vulnerable of sufferrers- children.

When a mentally ill individual, such as a child, experiences physical elements of an environment, their emotional state can be negatively or positively stimulated, thereby affecting the way they respond to treatment. Thesis Research | Chapter One

Whilst mental illness knows no boundaries of age, race, or socioeconomic status, it’s prevalence within children and young adolescents proves significantly troubling to me. Children are able to see the

world through a vulnerable and imaginative lens, relying on atmospheric perception as cues for emotional experiences in different spaces. For this reason, the presence of psychiatric disorders among children and young adults seems even more problematic; successful treatment and care of mental illness may be profoundly effected by the environment in which it’s received. We must not forget that psychological pain is not physically manifested, but quietly carried like an invisible wound. Children, at their most susceptible and developmental life stages, should be recognized as those who could significantly benefit from positive, individually- geared treatment methods. For the young child plagued by invisible agony of mental torment, their environment may be a prison or a sanctuary.

Figure 1.2 Mentally ill children may be just as vulnerable to their surrounding as adults. Image Source 1

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THESIS STATEMENT

Thoughtful design can contribute to the treatment and care for children with psychiatric disorders, through prompting imaginative engagement and sensory stimulation.

Figure 1.3 A young boy engages with a bubble tube during therapy. Image Source 2.

Thesis Research | Chapter One

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MENTAL ILLNESS By definition, mental illness consists of several disorders which are characterized by mood dysregulation and unhealthy thoughts and/or behavior.6 More than two hundred classifications exist, though the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) categorizes disorders based on relative similarities and locations in the brain that are effected.7 Despite the wide range of illnesses, the majority of mental illness fall into multiple recognized groupings. The DSM designates these modules as categorical umbrellas for individual disorders.8 Personality, mood, and psychotic disorders are among the most prevalent in those who suffer from psychiatric illness.9 According to statistics, around 44 million adults experience a mental disorder in one year, and 13.6 million chronically battle it.10 Childhood psychiatric illness has a rate of 13% for children aged 8-15, and 20% among young adults aged 13-18 (Figures 1.4 and 1.5).11 Children are not immune to suffering from the disorders that plague adults, as is the case on the other end. However, the majority of pediatric conditions are characterized as developmental and learning disorders, with symptoms manifesting early and developing throughout young adulthood- thereby potentially taking the form of additional conditions later on.12 It has been estimated that above four million children aged 3-17 combat psychiatric malaise, with common conditions ranging from depression, anxiety, ADHD, and Tourette syndrome.13

For a child suffering from depression or anxiety, their pain may be difficult to internally grasp, and therefore could be manifested through anger and other visible emotions. A physical wound may be easier to cope with than the silent invisibility of a psychiatric disorder.

Thesis Research | Chapter One

Figure 1.4: Childhood mental illness statistics, 2014. Image Source 3

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MENTAL ILLNESS Cause + Association in Children The cause of mental illness can stem from a multitude of factors, as ample research has proven environmental stress, genetic factors, and biochemical imbalances as the central origins.14 Despite environment acting as a primary cause, it may also serve as an influential factor in the progression and/or treatment of disorders. That being said, the illness hides within the victim, rarely manifesting any physical signs, but nevertheless, resulting in severe mental anguish. A reason for early mental illness in children may not be thoroughly determined, but known factors include heredity, biological makeup (genetics), predisposition to traumatic life events, and environmental stress- whether past or present15.

More importantly, from a child’s point of view, these conditions can be individually experienced as bouts of confusion, despair, and bewilderment. When asked about their feelings, they’ve described it like a “tornado or a hurricane inside my head”15.2.

Mood Disorders Within the umbrella of mental illness, mood and anxiety disorders compose a large part, and unfortunately bear the weight of severe and debilitating symptoms. Commonly referred to as affective disorders, they may be initially difficult to diagnose in children as symptoms may be manifested differently than adults15.1. Amongst the category of mood and anxiety disorders, the most common are: Major Depression Disorder Bipolar disorder Generalized anxiety disorder Social anxiety disorder Dysthymia (chronic depression) Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder

Thesis Research | Chapter One

“BP Me” Kareem, Age 13 Image Source 4

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MENTAL ILLNESS

Mental Health Facts CHILDREN & TEENS

Universal Treatment Methods Ranges of therapy exist to combat and aid in the management of psychiatric illness, and may differ based on individual needs. The most common forms of therapy for mood disorders differ in their approach, but may be used in combination with one another to provide a specific form of treatment.15 A widely acknowledged practice is psychotherapy, which involves speaking with a trained psychologist in an effort to improve state of mind through reflection. 16 Additional methods of psychotherapy include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and occupational therapy- a practice distinguished for it’s approach of incorporating daily tasks and skill-building. 17 Medication is also a commonly used form of treatment, and although not a direct cure, psychopharmacology is combined with other methods for successful treatment18. Children may be most prone to responding towards a “hands-on” interactive therapeutic approach, as it may be easier to communicate feelings and work with specialists.

In most severe cases, individuals may require hospitalization and continuous medical care to prevent their condition from deteriorating19. Although extreme, seeking immediate medical attention may be a last resort to prevent endangering one’s life and the lives of others. According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, 63.3 million medical visits (outpatient, emergency, or primary care) received a primary diagnosis of mental illness.20 Perhaps even more alarming is the increasing rate of hospitalization among children and young adults. Of the four million (plus) American children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders, the rate of hospitalization increased by 24% between the years of 2007- 2010.21

Fact: 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 have, or will have a serious mental illness.

1

20%

11%

20% of youth ages 13-18 live with a mental health condition1

11% of youth have a mood disorder 1

10%

8%

10% of youth have a behavior or conduct disorder 1

8% of youth have an anxiety disorder 1

Suicide

Impact

50% 10 yrs

50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24.1

3rd

Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in youth ages 10 - 24.1

The average delay between onset of symptoms and intervention is 8-10 years.1

50%

Approximately 50% of students age 14 and older with a mental illness drop out of high school.1

70%

70% of youth in state and local juvenile justice systems have a mental illness.1

90%

90% of those who died by suicide had an underlying mental illness.1

Warning Signs

!

Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than 2 weeks (e.g., crying regularly, feeling fatigued, feeling unmotivated).

!

Trying to harm or kill oneself or making plans to do so.

!

Out-of-control, risk-taking behaviors that can cause harm to self or others.

!

Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart, physical discomfort or fast breathing.

!

Not eating, throwing up or using laxatives to lose weight; significant weight loss or gain.

!

Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships.

!

Repeated use of drugs or alcohol.

!

Drastic changes in behavior, personality or sleeping habits (e.g., waking up early and acting agitated).

!

Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still that can lead to failure in school.

!

Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities like hanging out with friends or going to classes.

4 Things Parents Can Do

Talk with your pediatrician 1

Get a referral to a mental health specialist

Work with the school

Connect with other families

This document cites statistics provided by the National Institute of Mental Health. www.nimh.nih.gov

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Thesis Research | Chapter One

www.nami.org

Figure 1.5: Mental health facts for children and teens. Image Source 5

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UNDERSTANDING COGNITION When we interact with an environment on any level, our cognitive skills are engaged. Substantial research has profiled cognition in relation to perceiving space. Perception, otherwise known as the act of observance through the sensory system, is arguably the foundation of environmental psychology.22 Therefore, studying cognitive function may shed light on how perception and the external world influence each other. This type of insight can be significantly helpful to designers, as it could encourage the creation of more stimulating and thoughtful spaces. Placed in the pool of psychological illness, a firm grasp on this topic will give way to stragetic design for accomodating this population’s medical needs.

Two Hemispheres Neuroscience deconstructs the brain as a “bihemispheric structure”, with both right and left hemispheres serving a specific cerebral purpose.23 Research has shown that interference of proper functioning in either hemisphere leads to cognitive impairment.24 The right hemisphere reserves the responsibility of comprehending “the bigger picture”, thereby overlooking logical and formulaic components of a perceived situation.25 In other words, the ability to think abstractly and process conceptual ideas is fostered by the right hemisphere.26 Whereas the right hemisphere generalizes observations, the left portion does completely the opposite. Familiarity and certainty govern the left hemisphere’s abilities, as information is processed and categorized into organized classifications.27 The interaction of both hemispheres can be illustrated in Figures 1.7 and 1.8. Both images are initially in their entirety, with Figure 1.7 first perceived as “H4” and Figure 1.8 as a splatter of black and white forms.28 However, when analyzed in greater detail, the “H4” is a composition of several miniscule Es and 8s, and the outline of a Dalmatian is delineated within the black and white assortment.29 In order to arrive at this conclusion, the observer must first see the larger picture.30 While the right hemisphere is responsible for initial contextual intake, the left defines the actual organization of each image.31 It can further be concluded that both hemispheres independently contribute to the brain’s perceptive abilities. The question comes full circle: how does this involve perception of the environment? The ability to observe is the foundation for how we experience all aspects of the world- most notably our surroundings. While the left rationalizes and observes, the right develops empathetic connections and is comprised of depth, metaphor, and substance.32 On the grounds of design, “left hemisphere thinking” can be negatively portrayed for it’s pragmatic and uncreative nature. 33 This was emphasized in light of Le Corbusier’s declaration of the house “as a machine for living”, implying only functionality and it’s intended purpose.34 Thesis Research | Chapter One

Figures 1.7 (top) and 1.8 illustrate how the right and left hemispheres work together to facilitate perception. Image Source 6

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COGNITION: THE SENSORIMOTOR SYSTEM

Figure 2.0: Comparing the growth of neurons in the early stages of life and adulthood. As noted, a two year old’s brain has the most density. Image Source 8

Explanation of the two hemispheres comes on the heels of an additional topic: the importance of the cortical motor system. This intricate network houses multiple actions that all definitively contribute to input of information.35 Responsible for the execution and perception of information, it also dictates imagination through sensory pathways.36 Knowledge of this function is crucial to environmental psychology, as perception is not only grounded in visual activation, but sensorimotor engagement as well.37 The ability to analyze perception paves a series of roads to comprehending all implications of emotional response within a space.

Figure 1.9 illustrates the point that performing an action and observing it are both enforced by the sensorimotor system. Image Source 7

Thesis Research | Chapter One

Stimulation of the motor system doesn’t only imply bodily movement, but also involves the response to various stimuli, such as visual, auditory, and tactile.38 Premotor neurons dictate both the physical handling of objects and space and the observations made in their presence, resulting in certain emotions and thoughts.39 In essence, studying this function provides evidence of the correlation between perception and sensory stimulation.40 “Mirror neurons” are also relevant, and act as tiny carriers of observational action, otherwise defined as the act of watching an action unfold, but not necessarily engaging in it (Figure 1.9). On a broader scale, the “Mirror Mechanism” is instrumental in developing emotional response, as emotions like empathy are mirrored not only between people, but also between inanimate objects and people.41 With this knowledge, designers are posed to formulate new built solutions and create spaces which generate significant psychological impact. Research conducted within the field of childhood brain development shows that children have twice as many neurons as adults, suggesting a child’s brain is just as capable at producing the mirror mechanism as adult’s (Figure 2.0)42. 12


COGNITION: THE SENSORIMOTOR SYSTEM The innate desire to immerse ourselves in new, unfamiliar territory may be a subconscious attempt at activating the imagination and challenging the world we know. For some, such as the mentally ill, this could offer an escape from reality and become therapeutic. Children and adults alike possess an intrinsic explorative desire, pushing for new opportunities to experience the world. The physical environment we find ourselves in may adversely influence or psychological processes, consequently altering our emotional state.43

Figure 2.2: Locations of the sensorimotor components within the right and left hemispheres. Image Source 10

Figure 2.1: An abstract illustration of the difference in function between the left and right hemispheres. Image Source 9

Thesis Research | Chapter One

Relating this statement back to cognitive function, one could contend that perception, which is governed by cognitive function, can make or break an individual’s mental state.44 The very word “imagination” may elicit an ephemeral and dreamy connotation, but is proven just as crucial as other cognitive functions; “Perceptions call for imagination, as percepts are not automatic interpretations, projections, creations, and products of intentionability and imagination”.45 The physicist Arthur Zanjoc argues: “we could not see the light without our inner light and formative visual imagination”.46 Such a statement suggests imagination as an act of internal reflection on our own observations, prompting the emotional connection of self to environment. 13


SENSORY INTEGRATED APPROACH

A subset of occupational therapy is an approach called Sensory Integration Therapy (SIT). “Sensory integration” alone is defined by the intake and organization of spatial information using our five senses47.

Initially developed in the mid 1970’s by an occupational therapist named Jane Ayres, sensory integration therapy is geared towards the treatment of psychiatric disorders through engaging the patient’s senses in an interactive, sometimes playful method48. A wide spectrum of SIT tactics exists, and can fluctuate between highly stimulating to low and passive- thereby tailoring the experience to the specific needs of each patient49. Children who have severe anxiety may be more responsive and positively benefit from SIT in an environment that engages their senses calmly and produces feelings of tranquility (Figure 2.4). Research has proven that the brain intakes information by sending cues to smell, look, touch, and taste50. While all humans possess a sensory system, therapy is often tailored in a specific way to bring the senses to light. Most therapeutic approaches and activities stem from the sensorimotor system51. Moreover, specific individuals suffering from problematic mental disorders or whom have a traumatic history may be unaware of their own sensory needs and therefore more prone to stressful and negative environments52. As mentioned, sensory integration therapy can range from highly active to docile and passive engagement, based on the patient’s condition and specific need for stimuli. However, it should be emphasized that a sensory activity which one patient finds calming, another may find over-stimulating and negative. Whereas certain children may require calmer situations (perhaps those suffering with severe anxiety or behavioral regulation), others (such as those with severe depression) may respond to alert and highly engaging spaces53. Thesis Research | Chapter One

Figure 2.4: A child engages with fiber optic light strands on plush seating in what appears to be a “calm” sensory room. Image Source 12.

The success of this therapy is highly dependent on utilizing space, as patients must engage with an appropriate environment that activates their senses. Sensory elements such as aromatherapy and calming touch (smell and touch), may be applied within more passive environments, while other areas are deemed “multisensory”54. Examples of passive sensory activities may include looking at bubble lamps, listening to calm music, and mindful breathing in a comfortable area; it’s crucial to highlight that all (and nearly every) experience is “multi-modal”, and is a successful activation of both the sensory and motor systems working together55. When placed in the hands of a designer, one must carefully consider the sensitivity of each environment, and the spatial elements that will create the experience for the child.

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SENSORY INTEGRATED APPROACH: CONTINUED MULTISENSORY MODULATION Widely stimulating experiences may be provided with the introduction of multi-sensory rooms. Frequently used in pediatric psychiatric settings, these spaces work to balance direct and indirect sensory stimuli in an effort to engage the patient therapeutically56. Specific equipment and furnishings are required to enhance the area, and can range from swings, textured surfaces, climbing structures, or indoor tunnels. One can ultimately assume this type of environment may particularly be appealing to a child for it’s imaginative and playful atmosphere. The primary goal of these spaces is to encourage the child to playfully explore and activate their imagination for therapeutic engagement57.

Whether actively or passively, patients are able to experience sensory stimulation and enhance their therapeutic experience. Control is a major, defining issue in the composition of these rooms, and directly influences the child’s desire to respond to therapy61. In general, Snoezelen rooms reflect an imaginative, alternative atmosphere, and commonly include components like: bubble tubes, fiber optics, textured surfaces, engineered features to stimulate the olfactory and auditory systems62. These rooms can be designed as “themed spaces” or spatially classified based on simulation level within a psychiatric facility.

SNOEZELEN ROOMS The individual category of multi-sensory rooms within Sensory Integrated Therapy can be objectified by a single term: The Snoezelen Room. First developed in 1975 by Jan Hulsegge and colleagues at The Harthburg Institute in the Netherlands, they were designed with both calming and alerting functions in mind, based on individual patient sensitivity58. Varying levels of Snoezelen rooms are able to successfully “direct and arrange” stimuli, thereby inducing either activity or relaxation in a given patient59. As emphasized in my introductory statement of individualized patient control, spatial elements (lighting, seating, sound), must be adjusted based on the specific patient’s needs. The controllability of each room can be governed by it’s design; a CSE (Controlled Sensory Environment) may possess attributes which maximize patient control over the surrounding atmosphere60.

Thesis Research | Chapter One

Figure 2.5: Children in a “calm” Snoezelen (sensory modulation room) at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital. Image Source 13.

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ANTECEDENT: NOTCHES IN A DOOR An emotional connection can be fostered beyond human perimeters. One can essentially form an emotional identity within a place, developing a relationship with a familiar environment as they grow through the course of life. The notion of “home” as a place where life’s most intimate moments occur- from first steps taken to first kisses, death and departure, a house far beyond it’s functional requirements, and serves a tender entity. In The Architecture of Happiness, Alain de Bottom summarizes the poignant core of a home: “This dignified and seasoned creature, with it’s coppery veins and wooden feet nestled in a bed of clay, has endured much: balls bounced against its garden flanks, doors slammed in rage, headstands attempted along its corridors, the weight and sighs of electrical equipment and the probings of inexperienced plumbers into its innards”63. Thus, de Bottom characterizes this environment as empathetic and capable of emotion, thereby identifying it far beyond it’s operative purpose as shelter. The home encapsulates a life of it’s own, capable of feeling the wear of memories built in it’s presence.

Our identity deepens further with these symbols as time passes; although it’s relevance and aesthetic appeal has dwindled, the door remains as a token of the incredible amount we’ve lived within one single setting. A connection is created between our internal identity and the environment we inhabit daily- this place we’ve grown inside, that’s grown in harmony with us. The idea that “idealized emotions become displaced onto inanimate objects”64 suggests that non-human objects and surroundings can provide just as much emotional sanctity as humans may provide to one another. The home is a metaphorical reminder of the sensitive complexity between an individual and a familiar, venerable space.

From first words mumbled to the hesitant departure for college, special moments are created within the home, shedding light on it’s physical attributes, however minute they may seem. The widely practiced act of measuring and documenting a child’s growth along the edge of a doorframe gives new contextual meaning to the door itself. The door trim inhabits an air of nostalgia, and it’s need lessens as time passes, but it remains as a sweet reminder of years ticked away. Dates, different pen colors, various handwriting all become artifacts of the past- a series of years and memories compounded in the carvings on a piece of wood.

Thesis Research | Chapter One

Figure 2.6: The notching of height on a door frame. Image Source 14.

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PRECEDENT: DISNEY WORLD The spirit of Walt Disney World embodies that of a departed, dream-like environment, rich with fantasy and sensory stimulation from every corner. Intentional sensory overload distinguishes Disney from all other themed spaces; a specific methodology exists behind the success, and is partially due to a strategic application of environmental psychology. Riddled with bright, vivacious colors, foreign sounds, smells, and textures- both visually and texturally engaging- the environment offers diversity of senses, and ultimately provokes imagination in the act of perceiving space. It could be argued that Disney’s sway on children and adults alike is found in the built environment’s ability to provoke perception through the imagination. Riddled with bright colors, foreign sounds, smells, and textures- both visually and texturally engaging- a diversity of senses are engaged within one spatial experience. Disney World has timelessly reserved the ability to rouse a (largely) positive response in the minds of visitors. Within this unique place, the common emotion is euphoric and wondrous- the type of bliss that suggests departure from the strains of the world we know, and the environment we live in. Disney World, quite literally, has the magical ability to provide emotional relief in the form of imaginative perception. This sensation could be explained by the mirror mechanism; as new, exciting spaces are observed, we are reflecting on the experience of interacting with various attractions and rides, both emotionally and physically. In absence of the mirror mechanism, this experience would lack depth; it would be formulaic and processed, but not felt on the intended sensory level. As previously mentioned, mirror mechanisms trigger the function of embodied simulation, ultimately giving way to empathy felt for a space. Disney World’s basis is fictional and illusory, evident within the fairytale castles, sculpted mountains, and perfectly paved sidewalks. The architecture could be speculated by some as “phony” for it’s dreamlike qualities, but Disney has found strength in sculpting fictional environments as perceptive illusions of reality. Environmental psychologists might attribute this success to humans’ inherent cognitive ability to empathize with both real and fictional worlds. When watching a sad movie, characters and situations emotionally move us even though we know they aren’t happening in real life. Momentarily, we’re able to depart from reality and immerse ourThesis Research | Chapter One

selves in the fabricated depth of a story. “Empirical research has shown that we experience fictional realities through neurobiological mechanisms fairly similar to those through which we experience real life. We show how, from a certain point of view, any experience of any possible world basically depends upon similar embodied simulation routines.”65

Figure 2.7: Epcot’s textured exterior is distinguishable even from afar at Walt Disney World. Image Source 15.

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PRECEDENT: DISNEY WORLD I remember my first trip to Disney World as being magnificent and captivating. As a child, I was fully aware of reality, and could identify personal emotions with particular spaces like home, school, or the doctor’s office. Crossing the threshold from daily life into The Magic Kingdom, I still understood reality, but became completely immersed in the sights, sounds, smells, and atmosphere. For most children, this experience maintains a higher level of reality than for adults, partially because they haven’t fully distinguished fact from fiction yet (like believing in Santa Clause or the Easter bunny), but I argue that spatial perception remains the same despite age. Knowledge that these places can’t exist designates the space as knowingly unrealistic, but doesn’t interfere with momentary perception. The only factor separating children from adults is the amount of knowledge acquired to deem the surrounding environment as illusive. If adults were, however, blindfolded and placed in a foreign setting and told they’re on Mars, they might feel inclined to believe it from their lack of knowledge to counter the statement. This potentially suggests the act of spatial perception as minimally variable from child to adult, but knowledge and wisdom as substantially different. Among Disney’s architectural principles, sensory engagement undoubtedly plays a large role. One can easily observe Epcot’s textured exterior, a design element which cleverly builds anticipation based on visual cues sparking desire to feel and interact with the texture (Figure 2.7). Similar observations can be found in other attractions, such as on the ride “Stitch’s Great Escape”. The atmosphere is enriched through contrasting colors and light, billowing of smoke from the central “tube”, and stark coolness of temperature in comparison to Florida’s ill-famed humidity (Figure 2.8). Absence of light in the audience section amplifies Stitch’s presence as the ride’s key feature. Guests are physically tickled by hydraulic pumps inside of shoulder restraints, and are led to believe they’re being tickled by Stitch 66. Obviously, the ride’s storyline is unreal, but still conjures feelings of excitement and awe through successful use of sensory elements. Thesis Research | Chapter One

Figure 2.8: “Stitch’s Great Escape” at Walt Disney World. Image Source 16

Disney World itself is an uplifting setting. It evokes a distinct emotional response for everyone, and within the context of mental health, may be even more poignant. The relationship between the built environment and mental health has already been stated, but it’s worthy to speculate how Disney’s distinct atmosphere impacts those suffering from psychological disorders. If a portion of the mentally ill population positively responds to deliberate sensory enhancement, it’s reasonable to state that Disney “experience” offers constructive stimulation in the wake of mental distress. Through a child’s eyes, the cobblestone streets and pastel-colored attractions offer a chance of immersion within a real-life fantasy. If only temporary, this unique world provides a child with the distraction of perceived reality, and offers them a chance to cope with mental stress in a captivating, magical environment.

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CONCLUSIONS: CHAPTER ONE Grasping the mind’s inner gears, however small and systematically minute they may be, paves ways to larger ideas about human interaction with the environment.

We are all composed of an intertwined, complex network of ticking systems; in a sense wired like finely crafted watches, with the intricacy of inner mechanisms but intended to perform designated tasks. Perhaps, the beauty of the human race lays in the simple idea that while our external facades can be altered, fashioned, and enhanced to replicate cultural idealism, our minds are eternally organic, unique and inimitable. Or, maybe it just lies in the gift of sensory ability, and the promise of interpreting the world in a variety of perceptible ways.

Providing a broad synopsis of cognitive perception and the sensorimotor system gives way to understanding the value of individual sensory experience within a given environment. Placed in the context of mental health, the introduction of sensory stimulation and emotional response may be groundbreaking for all those involved in researching the field of human psychology and mental illness. Image Source 17

Thesis Research | Chapter One

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TERMS OF CRITICISM

1

Mental illness can impede an individual’s cognition, therefore rendering their spatial perception as heightened or weakened to sensory cues.

2

The theory suggests that response bias in mentally ill children may be influenced by specific design elements, resulting in a positive emotional response.

3

Environments with varying levels of sensory stimuli and controllability are required for certain patients, therefore rendering them subject to individual spatial experience based on sensory needs.

4

Individual control of the surrounding environment and sensory elements is imperatively linked to patient comfort and emotional response when receiving therapy.

5

It can be proposed that interactive, stimulating environments may aid in therapeutic treatment for children with certain mood disorders, but not others, thereby resulting in the need for a wide spectrum of stimulation within space.

6

Dependant on the patient’s personal diagnosis, specific atmospheric factors will illicit diverse responses, whether negative or positive, from pediatric patients.

7

The notion that children are naturally more responsive to interactive and engaging spaces, regardless of mental state, suggests that treatment for psychiatric illness should be tailored to coincide with spatial design for the age group.

8

Imagination is facilitated by sensory perception, and therefore can be activated by immersion in spaces with heightened sensory stimuli.

9

This thesis suggests that promoting imaginative and sensory engaged experiences within one, communal setting will serve as a momentary deviation for mentally ill children, potentially increasing the success rate of therapy.

Thesis Research | Chapter One

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CHAPTER TWO

THE DESIGN LINK


THE HYPOTHESIS

THE ISSUE LAYS IN COMBINING THE TWO FIELDS.... As it stands alone, proper attention to pediatric behavioral health is of utmost importance within the medical and humane fields. These two worlds can collide for the greater benefit of future treatment methods. In order to identify opportunities for design in this field, may take towards this topic, it becomes crucial to define the issue: Manipulated perception of the built environment in imaginative and sensory ways positively contributes to the care of pediatric behavioral health.

AS SUCH, A HYPOTHESIS CAN BE STATED: It can be thoughtfully predicted that most children respond to the allure of a highly interactive space. Given previous anecdotal researchideas of imaginative and interactive spaces can be extracted and applied within the context of design. Exclusively speaking, mentally ill children may benefit from a designated environment that deploys various senses, prompting unique imaginative and captivating experiences based on individual emotional needs for stimulation and engagement.

Thesis Research | Chapter Two

Controllable manipulation of space, by means of sensory stimulation and engagement, positively contributes to the treatment and care of mentally ill children, and enables designers to develop new and efficient treatment spaces specifically geared towards individual sensitivity.

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A VEHICLE TOWARDS ACTION

THE DESIGNATED USER GROUP: YOUNG CHILDREN + ADOLESCENTS (AGES 5-17) SEEKING OUTPATIENT TREATMENT MOOD DISORDERS, SUCH AS:

POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER ANXIETY DISORDERS MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER BIPOLAR DISORDER EMOTIONAL DYSREGULATION MANIA

By definition, mood disorders are characterized as conditions which cause disturbances in mood and emotional regulation, otherwise uncontrollabe by physical means*.67

Thesis Research | Chapter Two

If we, as designers, are able to understand the very mechanisms of what makes humans tick, we possess the powerful ability to alter the act of cognitive perception through constructed space. Those suffering from mood disorders live under a constant veil of gray. Combining research in the fields of environmental psychology, psychiatric illness, and brain cognition, the field of design could flourish with brilliant ideas on how to improve the lives of those suffering from mental illness.

To mindfully design a space which caters to the act of perception, specifically in regards to children with psychiatric illnesses, thereby honoring the individual need for environmental control, while providing therapeutic relief with a sensory-conscious approach.

*Within the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders), I have chosen solely to focus on individuals suffering from mood disorders classified in Axis I. Amongst the range of psychiatric illnesses, conditions are categorized and therefore classified based on similar attributes. For the purpose of this project, my user group is focused on pediatric patients suffering from the class of mood disorders.52

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PROGRAM RESEARCH METHODS Research tactics deployed during this stage have been focused on analysis of past and present matters on this issue, from both an architectural and a medical standpoint. In particular, historical exploration of pediatric behavioral health provides a foundation on how far the movement has progressed- in both medical and built forms. Studying the general approach of treatment for mental illness, as well as the practice of institutionalization gives recognition to the subject and probes questions as to what improvements can be made related to this issue from a design standpoint.

Cultural understanding is also exceptionally relevant; understanding both the design industry’s views on behavioral health design, as well as the general public’s will shed insight into designer perception on how facilities may be constructed to respectively honor the user within the context of current cultural beliefs. Both historical and cultural investigation comes in the form of literature and observation: McLean Hospital has been a longstanding institution for the mentally ill, and while not specifically geared towards pediatric patients, offers a brief outlook on the journey behavioral health facilities have taken throughout time.

Abstract case studies, which are relevant to the issue but not directly correlated to behavioral health, offer insight into how children actively engage with a highly interactive and stimulating environment, such a The Boston Children’s Museum.

No greater wealth of information exists than from the minds behind successful design in this area, and thus several interviews with experts seasoned in the fields of healthcare, behavioral health, and pediatric design were conducted in the regional area to receive both feedback and knowledge about current trends and programmatic necessities.

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EXPERT:KATE ST. LAURENT, LC, ASSOSCIATE IALD Architectural Lighting Designer at Cannon Design, Inc.

Kate St. Laurent, an alumnus of New England School of Art & Design, is a well-regarded designer specializing in architectural lighting for higher education and corporate commercial projects52. Her range of knowledge spans not only from an overall design standpoint, but also from a detailed, specialized bank of knowledge for which all designers must carefully consider.

PROPOSED QUESTIONNAIRE: *How is emotional response considered specifically in healthcare design? *Are specific design elements used to generate emotional responses in patients and visitors? How do designers create a space in which people may resonate and empathize with? *Within the realm of pediatric healthcare, would you offer any distinguishable design considerations? *Heightened sensitivity is a focus of mine; how might you design a space to honor multiple levels of sensory needs? Though these questions served as talking points, much of our discussion deviated into different sectors related to healthcare design and my research, thereby prompting further investigation on my end after our meeting.

Kate St. Laurent of Cannon Design, Inc. Image Source 19.

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EXPERT:KATE ST. LAURENT, LC, ASSOSCIATE IALD Architectural Lighting Designer at Cannon Design, Inc.

Throughout our discussion, Kate emphasized the re-current theme of user control, especially in regards to behavioral health facilities. Her feedback generally circled back to control in the form of lighting and minute design features- considerations which may be accounted for further down the road, but contribute to the big picture none-the-less. In the realm of sensory input, she offered the notion that certain types of children with disorders- such as those with autism- may be over-sensitized by lighting conditions and combinations of color. Above all, the word “trigger” was emphasized as a term that implies an individual to bare a profound emotional response- albeit in a negative or positive way.

CONCLUSIONS: Meeting with Kate offered wonderful insight into considerations of both small and large design elements taken into

Another part of our discussion revolved around programming and identifying key elements for the user group. Defining spaces as public versus private, and low versus high stimulation may be implemented through spatial “hints” such as variable features like lighting, color, and wayfinding. This might also aid in the visible function of each setting.

account when developing a space. This has prompted me to move further within schematic design to be mindful of spatial adjacency, and honor the underlying concept of an individual experience and the notion of a “response bias” within the larger community of healing and therapy.

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CASE STUDY: THE BOSTON CHILDREN'S MUSEUM Actively observing the designated user group (children) in a highly stimulated and interactive environment, notably unrelated to healthcare, provided the opportunity to gain abstract insight into the behavioral responses of children to similar environments.

The Boston Children’s Museum itself is situated on the Fort Point waterfront, and alluring solely based on the building’s façade and orientation. During the approach, one notices the trademark “Hood Milk Bottle” in relation to the water and the building’s saturated entrance.

The interior provides a portal to another dimension; from a child’s eyes, the vast array of textural exhibits, colorful shapes, and distinct sounds creates an overwhelming sense of “what to do first”. From an adult’s eyes, the daunting task of visually tracking throughout the building is profound and intimidating.

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CASE STUDY: THE BOSTON CHILDREN'S MUSEUM "PEEP'S WORLD"

Due to the wide range of exhibits, I’ve chose ton profile a few observations in depth, which I feel as though relate best to the overarching themes of sensory engagement and individual experience.

While watching P, I noticed how she couldn’t resist the urge to move along the water’s path, drifting her hands through each new discovery. The very act of immersing herself in the water, and manipulating the stream through exploratory use like creating waterfalls with buckets and funnels, was exciting for her. She was connecting with the exhibit on both a personal, emotional, and physical level. The immersion of color and seamless, characteristic forms of nature draws a child temporarily into tactical exploration, connecting their inner selves with the outer environment.

“Peep’s World” invites children to play and learn with water and shadows, prompting motor skill development within a play-like setting58. The first part of the physical exhibit is imaginary and full of character. Saturated green, blue, and brown colors compose the nature-like scenery, as with perfectly formed trees and a winding river of water, scattered with buckets and funnels.

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CASE STUDY: THE BOSTON CHILDREN'S MUSEUM "PEEP'S WORLD" PART II

The second half of the exhibit takes a stark turn in terms of environment. The vibrancy of the water display is polarized by a transition into a cave-like, dark grotto. This area maintained the overall form of shape and imagery as the whole of “Peep’s World”, but was saturated in deep hues of purples and blues, and encompassed a darker obscurity. The absence of light played a large role in the childrens’ response to this exhibit; it evoked a scene of cautious exploration, with pockets of light emanating from corners and piercing the ceiling as if to mimic the night-sky. Here, children are encouraged to engage with the walls using light colored pens, writing with them as the text disappears in the form of fleeting light. The incitement of engaging with one’s shadow within the lighting contrast produced a strong response in P+C, as much time was spent investigating how their shadows’ scales could change based on their movement and gestures. They were each carefully and quiet in approaching this exhibit, calmly investigating their surroundings, but still exploring none-the-less.

Perhaps, this can be comparable to therapeutic environments in which fiber-optic light strings are used with children as explorative, calming mechanisms.

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CASE STUDY: THE BOSTON CHILDREN'S MUSEUM "NEW BALANCE CLIMB" EXHIBIT

Possibly the most alluring feature to adults and children alike is the “New Balance Climb” exhibit. A three story structure, made from sloped platforms and woven rope, it spans the entire height of the building’s interior, and is most appealing due to it’s incredible vertical presence. Adjacent to the main staircase, this structure allows children to actively climb through multiple levels, engaging their bodies in a “3D Puzzle”, through choosing different paths and navigating by texture59. It should be noted that adults can walk along the staircase to follow their child as they climb the three stories, suggesting this structure was strategically built with safety and reassurance for both user and observer. This was an area of high activity: children anxiously leaped, crawled and slithered through- some entirely overwhelmed and others in blissful exploration. P + C both eagerly entered at the ground level, leaving me in the group of caretakers wondering if this was a sure-fire trap to misplacing a child.

Texture, shape, and height all play big roles here; not only do they entice discovery, but they evoke different responses in individual children, based on personal emotional state and desire for stimulation.

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PROGRAM CASE STUDY: SUNFIELD'S ROWAN AND OAK HOUSE GA ARCHITECTS - SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH GA Architect’s initial design approach for this project was to create a space for autistic children to experience different levels of interaction; from stimulating, to social and private, amongst their own terms. The play rooms are closely situated to the children’s bedrooms in the event that a child becomes overwhelmed by the surrounding environment79. The plan for this facility greatly motivates by own thoughts about programming, as their mission is similar in respect to individual patient needs.

Figure 3.4: Floor Plan for Sunfield’s Rowan and Oak House. Image Source 32. Thesis Research | Chapter Two

The ability for the building to maintain a sense of linked community, whilst offering segregation and privacy for patients is crucial. Although it’s primary function differs from my concept, the desire for individualized care and specified settings per patient need is addressed. This serves as an excellent case study for spatial understanding, and bringing the concept of individual need within a larger community to life. Having looked at this case study within the context of my own research, I created a diagram analyzing areas of high versus low privacy. Privacy levels may range from pockets within the building where patients have the ability to seek solitude in a mildly communal setting (medium privacy), to areas of higher activity and socialization (low privacy), to areas of complete seclusion (high privacy). The relationship and adjacency of these spaces is shown via color coding and simplistic block diagramming in Figure 3.5.

Figure 3.5: Study of Sunfield’s Rowan and Oak House spatial privacy adjacency & levels. 31


DEVELOPING A PROGRAM As a standard outpatient psychiatric facility would have, an amount of space is designated to reception and waiting areas, as well as physician offices, meeting rooms, and staff amenities. While these are expected elements, the purpose of this facility is to provide therapy for individuals on a regulated sensory level, within the context of a larger environment. Research in the field of sensory integrated therapy suggests sensory modulated rooms can be customized on the basis of patient controllability and stimulation61. In treating children with varying degrees of mood disorders, space must be categorized to address the entire span of sensitivity within this user group.

Communal patient and group therapy rooms are present, as well as additional collective activity spaces, such as the “Imagatorium” and the interactive garden. This allows for exploration of the surrounding environment, and freedom to interact with like users of the space.

Individual treatment rooms fall within three designations: passive, active, and interactive62.

PASSIVE

While the individual components of these rooms may vary within their respective subsets, they stick to their own “neighborhood” of sensory stimulation, and therefore provide the patient with their appropriate level of stimulation. (Figure 2.7).

*Low control, calm space, minimal ability to manipulate environment.

Thesis Research | Chapter Two

PATIENT EXPERIENCE

SENSITIVITY LEVEL

INDIVIDUAL NEEDS

INTERACTIVE *Control is managed between therapist and patient.

ACTIVE *High stimulation, more control over environment

PATIENT PERCEPTION IS LINKED TO CONTROLLABILITY OF ENVIRONMENT. Figure 2.7: Tailoring space to individual patient needs. 32


SPATIAL SUMMARY SPACE

AVG. SQ. FT (PER ROOM)

QUANTITY

TOTAL SQ. FT

DESIGNATION

RECEPTION/WAITING

670 400 210 200 192 995 110 195 143 150 600 50 (ADA COMPLIANT) 130 (EACH) 195 378 120 4,150 180 120 175 64

1 1 1 1 1 1 4 3 1 2 1 4 4 4 4 4 1 1 1 2 4

670 400 210 200 192 995 440 585 143 300 600 200 560 780 1512 480 4,150 180 120 350 256

PUBLIC PUBLIC ADMINISTRATIVE/PATIENT STAFF STAFF PUBLIC/PATIENT PHYSICIAN/STAFF PUBLIC/PATIENT/STAFF ADMINISTRATIVE EMERGENCY PUBLIC/PATIENT PRIVATE/PATIENT SEMI-PRIVATE/UNIVERSAL PATIENT PATIENT PATIENT PUBLIC/PATIENT PUBLIC/PATIENT PATIENT/STAFF PATIENT PATIENT

FAMILY SPACE PATIENT INTAKE NURSING STATION STAFF LOUNGE (AND BATH) CAFETERIA PHYSICIAN OFFICES PRIVATE MEETING ROOMS MANAGEMENT SPACE ON-SITE EMERGENCY COMMUNAL PATIENT SPACE PRIVATE BATHROOMS COMMUNAL BATHROOMS INTERACTIVE SM ROOM ACTIVE SM ROOM PASSIVE SIA ROOM IMAGINATORIUM (GYM) GROUP THERAPY ROOM INTERACTIVE GARDEN HYDROTHERAPY WOMB/SECLUSION SPACE

NET SQUARE FOOTAGE: 13,323 CIRCULATION FACTOR (20%): 2,665 Thesis Research | Chapter Two

GROSS SQUARE FOOTAGE: 15,987 sq. ft.

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ADJACENCY MATRIX

Specific spaces should be thoughtfully located to one another, so as to benefit both patients and staff through accessibility and function. Also, developing an adjacency matrix allows for exploration into how the site, as a whole, can be maximized to serve it’s overall given purpose of providing a customized experience within a communal setting. Since a majority of the rooms cater to individual needs and sensitivity, it’s important to note that spacees with high do not neighbor those with a calmer atmosphere (such as passive versus active sensory modulation rooms). That said, locating larger, communal areas, like the “Imaginatorium”, as adjacent to active and interactive sensory rooms takes circulation and establishing a parallel environment into consideration.

Thesis Research | Chapter Two

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SCHEMATICS : BUBBLE DIAGRAMS Initial sketches led to exploring the act of categorizing space in various ways, such as based on highly stimulating areas versus calmer environments, public versus private, and patient versus physician and family. By means of quick bubbling, I developed an “internal triangle” which appeared as both a communal zone, and a margin between high and low stimulating areas (Figure 3.7). Further bubbling led to diving into this idea deeper, and how adjacency between specific areas might affect individual user experience.

Figure 3.7: Preliminary “sketch” bubble diagram.

Thesis Research | Chapter Two

This bubble diagram is meant to illustrate adjacency and placement of rooms, and is color-coded based on designated use group. Through means of placing specific space in relation to one another, I’ve been able to explore the importance of separating areas of high stimulation from low stimulation; although this diagram doesn’t directly address that, it serves as a preliminary investigation into the adjacency between related areas, and organically creates a division which is explored in additional diagrams.

Figure 3.8: Adjacency and spatial relationships diagram

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SCHEMATICS : BLOCK DIAGRAMS The importance of moving from bubbles to blocks was to investigate two components: circulation dividing various privacy spaces and visually analyzing the relationship between designated areas and their counterparts. In this study, (Figure 4.3), I simply color code, but do not label specific “rooms”* so as to gain an understanding if similar spaces are properly adjacent to one another.

It should be noted that several spaces are layered with multiple colors, conveying that these are not only multi-purpose areas, but subject to exposure from different use groups within the building. However, it is kept in mind that the patient’s response remains the primary focus when planning “multi- purpose” spaces.

PATIENT/CLINICAL SPACE NON-PATIENT: DOCTOR + PATIENT, PATIENT + PATIENT, FAMILY + PATIENT *The term “rooms” is used in an abstract sense to convey generally designated spaces with intended purpose.

Thesis Research | Chapter Two

NON-PATIENT: ADMINISTRATIVE/PHYSICIAN SPACE MULTI-PURPOSE: VARIOUS USE GROUPS MAY USE THIS SPACE

Figure 3.9: Block diagram showing adjacency of user specific areas and potential circulatory routes.

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ROOM DATA PATIENT + DOCTOR MEETING ROOM

SQUARE FOOTAGE: 195 sq. ft. QUANTITY: 3 FUNCTION: Private meeting space for physicians, families, and patients DESIGNATED USER: Physicians, families, and patients FF&E: Seating for four- six people, desk, sofa. QUALTITATIVE CRITERIA: This is a space meant for private conversation between different groups of users, and should enable a comfortable space for talking. It should keep in tide with the rest of the facility's design elements, but stay functionally-geared and have qualities that don't distract the patient from the intention of the meeting.

SCALE: 1/4”= 1’-0”

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ROOM DATA PHYSICIAN

MANAGEMENT SPACE

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT SQUARE FOOTAGE: 143 sq. ft. OFFICES QUANTITY: 1 PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

SQUARE FOOTAGE: 110 sq. ft. QUANTITY: 4

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

QUALTITATIVE CRITERIA: The office should be a comfortable retreat for physicians to be able to store their personal belongings, as well as manage their work.

Thesis Research | Chapter Two

Scale: 1/4”= 1’-0”

QUALTITATIVE CRITERIA: Support and administrative staff, such as billing personnel and secretaries will utilize this room mainly for function, but also as a designated space for their own belongings. It should have comfortable task seating with enough space for two people to have work room.

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

FUNCTION: Private office space and work area for physicians. DESIGNATED USER: Physician, staff DESIGNATED USER: Chairs, task chair, work-station, ample storage space

FUNCTION: Area for management and support staff to work within. DESIGNATED USER: Staff FF&E: Task seating, work-stations, overhead storage.

Scale: 1/4”= 1’-0” 38


PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

ROOM DATA

SQUARE FOOTAGE: 672 sq. ft. QUANTITY: 1

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

RECEPTION + WAITING AREA

FUNCTION: Waiting area for patients and family, initial check in, introduction to facility. DESIGNATED USER: Patients, Family members, Staff

FF&E REQUIREMENTS: Reception desk, reception chairs, appropriate administrative counterparts. Waiting area: individual chair seating, rotund and central “bench” (so as to welcome community), “kids corner”- bean bags, television, child friendly activities during waiting period. QUALTITATIVE CRITERIA: The reception area should be the first impression of the space, and therefore must reflect the underlying concepts of the facility. It should introduce a whimsical, imaginative feeling to both children and families, and act as a portal from the external world to a therapeutic environment. Although inherently functional, it should also be a re-assuring and warm environment for both patients and their families.

Scale: 3/16”= 1’-0”

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PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT


ROOM DATA PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

INTERACTIVE SENSORY MODULATION ROOM SQUARE FOOTAGE: 995 sq. ft. QUANTITY: 1 FUNCTION: DESIGNATED USER: Family, Patients, Staff FF&E REQUIREMENTS: Cafe seating, tables for four and two person parties, banquette seating, food service station, cashier stand, vending machines.

QUALTITATIVE CRITERIA: This space must be accomodative in nature to various user groups, including family and visitors, patients, and staff. It should inhabit ambient qualities, and act as a universal space not only for eating, but for meeting publicly and socializing.

Qualitative image reference. Image Source 33.

Scale: 3/16”= 1’-0”

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT Thesis Research | Chapter Two

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INTERACTIVE SENSORY MODULATION ROOM SQUARE FOOTAGE: 195 sq. ft. QUANTITY: 1

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUC

ROOM DATA

FUNCTION: Interactive room where patients are intentionally engaged by spatial elements to interact with occupational therapist/psychician. DESIGNATED USER: Patients and Physicians FF&E REQUIREMENTS: Furniture needed may deviate from standard therapy rooms; interactive “tools” (bubble tubes, fiber optic lights, padded seating) and exhibits may be incorporated with seating and table space. QUALTITATIVE CRITERIA: This should be a balance between a passive sensory room and an active one; the patient should feel a sense of comfort and control over the activities taking place, but also be able to focus and feel stimulated to engage in therapy. Lighting levels, color, and shape should be thoughtfully chosen to reflect a heightened sensory experience, but not overwhelming for the patient.

Scale: 1/4”= 1’-0”

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT Thesis Research | Chapter Two

Qualitative image reference. Image Source 34.

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ROOM DATA

SQUARE FOOTAGE: 378 sq. ft. PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUC QUANTITY: 4

ACTIVE SENSORY MODULATION ROOM

Qualitative image reference. Image Source 35.

Thesis Research | Chapter Two

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

QUALTITATIVE CRITERIA: Aspects of this room, such as lighting, color, texture, and spatial form must serve as motivators of energy and excitement for patients requiring higher stimulation. It must be tactile and encouraging in becoming very “hands on” with the space as a form of therapy.

FUNCTION: Provide highly- stimulating activities to engage the patient. USE GROUP: Patients requiring highly active spaces and increased stimulation to provoke energy or a stronger (positive) emotional response.

Scale: 3/16”= 1’-0”

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ROOM DATA STAFF LOUNGE + ADA BATHROOM SQUARE FOOTAGE (BATHROOM EXCLUDED): 143 sq. ft. QUANTITY: 1

QUALTITATIVE CRITERIA:

Scale: 3/16”= 1’-0”

Thesis Research | Chapter Two

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRO

ED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

As an area where physicians and staff can retreat to relax and break from the fast-pace of the facility, this space should be comfortable, FUNCTION: Lounge/Break room for medical and support staff yet functional and direct for it’s meaning. There should be ample seating DESIGNATED USER: StaffPRODUCED only BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT and surfaces to prepare food on, and it should have a departed sense FF&E REQUIREMENTS: Table which seats 4-6, basic kitchen sink, storage from the rush and stress of the medical areas. cabinets, microwave, mini-refrigerator.

Qualitative image reference. Image Source 36.

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PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

ROOM DATA

SQUARE FOOTAGE: 110 sq. ft. QUANTITY: 4

SQUARE FOOTAGE: 110 sq. ft. QUANTITY: 4

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

PATIENT INTAKE

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

NURSING STATION

FUNCTION: Private office space and work area for physicians. PRODUCED BYfor ANphysicians. AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT FUNCTION: Private office space and work area DESIGNATED USER: Physician, staff DESIGNATED USER: Physician, staff

QUALTITATIVE CRITERIA: As a portal between the general waiting area and treatment spaces, qualities of this space should evoke feelings of calmness, security, and reassurance in the patient.

Scale: 3/16”= 1’-0” Thesis Research | Chapter Two

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PROD

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

CED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

QUALTITATIVE CRITERIA: Functionality is important as well as comfort of seating and work-stations. Each staff member should be able to have their individual portion of space, with freedom to move about the area.

Scale: 3/16”= 1’-0” 44


ROOM DATA PASSIVE SENSORY MODULATION PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

ROOM

Scale: 1/4”= 1’-0” Thesis Research | Chapter Two

QUALITATIVE CRITERIA: Elements within this room must produce feelings of control within the patient, as well as reflection and relief. Monogamous, calming colors will help establish the atmosphere, while accents of light which can dimmed or brightened will also contribute to the atmospheere. Plush seating, and comfortable, warm accents should be used. The primary goal is to provide as low stimulation as possible, but not eradicate the sensory experience. It is also intentionally smaller in size than the other sensory modulation rooms, so as to not overwhelm the patient with extra space.

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

SQUARE FOOTAGE: 120 sq. ft QUANTITY: 4 DESIGNATED USER: Patients requiring low stimulation and higher control of their surrounding space, also for those who may become quickly agitated or suffer from anxiety. FUNCTION: Passive, low stimulation, calm room for patients.

Qualitative image reference. Image Source 37.

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THE "IMAGINATORIUM"

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

ROOM DATA

QUALITATIVE CRITERIA: Nearly the standard size of a gymnasium, the "Imaginatorium" is meant to evoke the utmost feelings of "departure" from reality and imaginative experience. Composed of different exhibits, patients will have the ability to engage with the space on different sensory levels in a communal setting. Themed corners, such as a "jungle", rock-climbing mountain, or "spider-web" and playhouse will add diversity to the space, and most importantly initiate activity in the users. The ambience should be playful, energizing, and motivating so that patients can feel excitement and the desire to explore different stations.

Qualitative image reference. Image Source 38.

SQUARE FOOTAGE: 4,150 sq. ft QUANTITY: 1 DESIGNATED USER: Patients and staff FF&E: Customized equipment and exhibit components FUNCTION: Communal space for activity and imaginative exploration.

Qualitative image reference. Image Source 39. Scale: 1/16”= 1’-0”

DUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

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ROOM DATA

BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

INTERACTIVE GARDEN

Scale: 1/4”= 1’-0” Thesis Research | Chapter Two

QUALITATIVE CRITERIA: Engaging both the drive for exploration of nature and it's sensory elements, the interactive garden is meant for children who wish to therapeutically engage in an exterior and interior environment. Half of the space can be covered by a wooden plank roof, allowing for the ability to participate in the activity both outside and inside. Whimsical forms of planting, such as tires and colorful pots will help to engage senses through color and shape. Seating for the area should maintain the theme of nature, and perhaps mimic organic forms and relevant textures of the area.

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

SQUARE FOOTAGE: 120 sq. ft QUANTITY: 1 DESIGNATED USER: Patients and staff FUNCTION: Interior/Exterior interactive garden FF&E: Colorful planters & decor, unique seating

Image Source 41

Image Source 40

Image Source 42

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ROOM DATA PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

COMMUNAL PATIENT LOUNGE SQUARE FOOTAGE: 600 sq. ft QUANTITY: 1 DESIGNATED USER: Patients FUNCTION: Communal lounge area for patients to socialize FF&E: Round seating area, television, table and dining chairs, lounge chairs, vending machines

QUALITATIVE CRITERIA: This is a central node for community, and offers the patients the opportunity to converse with one another and relax within a moderated setting. The general atmosphere should be ambient, with soft lighting and accent colors which remain neutral, so as to respect the fine line between over-stimulation and under-stimulation. Circular seating will provide patients with the chance to comfortably recline and watch television, while individual seating and vending machines help to establish a casual atmosphere.

Qualitative image reference. Image Source 43.

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

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Scale: 3/16”= 1’-0” 48


ROOM DATA PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

HYDROTHERAPY ROOM

FUNCTION: Hydrotherapy room for water-based sensory

QUALITATIVE CRITERIA: As hydrotherapy is often used for sensory stimulation by means

activities

of immersing oneself in water, these rooms are designed to be small in nature, with situated window views to the outside landscape and waterfront. Qualities such as special lighting, colored projects, and painted scenery will enhance the experience of this form of therapy for the patient, and maintain the overall idea of imaginative engagement within any form.

Thesis Research | Chapter Two

Qualitative image reference. Image Source 43.

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

Qualitative image reference. Image Source 44.

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

SQUARE FOOTAGE: 175 sq. ft QUANTITY: 2 DESIGNATED USER: Patients FF&E: Hydrotherapy tub, stair and railing, lighting.

Scale: 1/4”= 1’-0”

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PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

ROOM DATA ON- SITE EMERGENCY ROOM PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT

SQUARE FOOTAGE: 154 sq. ft QUANTITY: 2 DESIGNATED USER: Patients and Physicians FUNCTION: Examination room used in the event of any emergency situation FF&E: Exam table, countertop with sink, above cabinetry storage, seating, direct wide exit to exterior QUALITATIVE CRITERIA: This space serves the primary function of addressing a patient's medical needs in the event of an on-site emergency. To override the impending sense of overwhelment and stress, color can play a major role in establishing a calm environment. In addition, themed elements, such as nature, underwater scenery, or television characters may aid in offsetting the frantic nature of the situation.

Qualitative image reference. Image Source 46. Scale: 1/4”= 1’-0”

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PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT


CHAPTER TWO : CONCLUSIONS

When a knowledge base of pediatric psychiatry and sensory integrated

As my research has been focused on “sensory integrated therapy”

treatment meet with proper design solutions, questions about proposing

and sensory modulation rooms, these serve as building blocks for future

further spatial ideas are proposed.

spatial programming requirements.

Above all, my findings have consistently reiterated a solid notion: the ability for control over one's surroundings, and the reassurance of feeling dominant within a given space, is imperative to patient satisfaction. Based on multiple research methods, it’s likely to conclude that young children and early adolescents with various mood disorders have a heightened sensitivity to the surrounding atmosphere, thereby prompting the desire for comfort via control. Additionally, a general sense of “departure” from the stressors of the outside world- albeit urban noise, public stigma, and additional worries, builds on future visions of a facility that fosters exploration and deviates from the norm; a place of euphoria and content, perhaps likened to Disney World, with the end goal of providing therapeutic relief.

Thesis Research | Chapter Two

Chapter three will explore the importance of site selection, relative to the user and individual needs. Given the exploration of this topic, choosing a site which honors the fundamental requirements of patient control and deviation from the “known” world, will require a specifiied set of criteria, and will notably stray from the conventional placement of a rehabilitation center.

Image Source 5

51


CHAPTER THREE

THE SITE

52


INTRODUCTION

EVALUATION CRITERIA Accessibility ability to gain access from multiple forms of transportation, including: vehicular, public transportation, and by means of walking

Selection of a site is very much so dependant on honoring the foundation of an individual experience for each patient. That being said, when the actual facility’s function is taken into account, one must remember the purpose of the space as a behavioral outpatient clinic. Ideally, the location for such would allow the perfect romance between comfort of approach and accessibility to the city, without the congestion and stress of an urban pace. In an effort to honor the original design intent, the site must be selected in a thoughtful way which promotes a deviation from the standardized “psychiatric medical experience”, albeit inpatient or outpatient. When investigating sites through the user (a chid)’s eyes, a place of playful appeal and non-threatening nature comes to mind. Several standards can be established to help locate a site which may bring these thoughts to life.

On the basis of the proposed criteria, two sites were chosen which reflect specific attributes and honor the requirements set forth to blend individual user experience with space.

Universal Accomodation does the site allow for diversity in visitors? Is it forgiving and able to those impaired with site, age, or disability? Approachability + Appeal how approachable is the site visually afar and up close? Adjacency to the water proximity and orientation along the water. Contextual Placement Is the placement of this facility appropriate? Exposure to northern light how much sunlight will the site garner at specific times of day?

Historical Importance is there any? S e para t ion

set apart from city’s “medical zones” Demographic Appeal what are the demographics of the area?

Thesis Research | Chapter Three

Design Flexibility will this site allow for the development of new spatial paradigms?

53


SITE ONE : 60 NORTHERN AVENUE, BOSTON, MA 02210 The primary appeal in selecting this site as a pending option was it’s orientation along the water, as well as the setback of a grassy area between the building and oceanfront. In addition, a segregated parking lot devoted solely to users of the building provides accessibility by means of vehicular travel. Although situated in the seaport district, accessibility by public transportation would vary based on bus route and willingness to travel for prolonged periods of time. However, walkability and access by means of foot is not ruled out as the site is situated in an area around several other commercial buildings.

Image source 48

That said, this site offers a deviation from the standardized medical nodes within the city; Longwood medical area and MGH are both highly congested and active quadrants in Boston, thereby increasing stimulation and potential agitation to patients and visitors. Based on individual experience and observation, placement of facility separate from conventional areas of medical activity may offer reprieve and comort, thereby respecting the idea of departure from the known world. Image source 47

Thesis Research | Chapter Three

54


SITE ONE : 60 NORTHERN AVENUE, BOSTON, MA 02210 SITE BACKGROUND

Image source 49

Whilst the extensive history of this site within the Seaport istrict is unknown, it was most recently home to a historically recognized retail store (Louis Boston), an accompanying restaurant (Sam’s at Louis), and a hair salon. Modular in nature, it dignifies itself within the area through its modern and segmental composition. The site’s placement falls within the “Seaport District”, which is known for it’s modern romance between industrial history and newly- built luxury buildings. Among the neighboring attractions are The Boston Children’s Museum, Boston Harborwalk, and Insitute for Contemporary Arts85.

PRESENT + FUTURE Upon further investigation, it was discovered that this, amongst several other adjacent areas, are subject to construction and re-development under the “Fan Pier Project”- an undergoing effort to build high-rise buildings which serve multiple purposes of dining, working, socializing, and living (Figure 4.5)86. Nevertheless, the project is currently pending, and the most-recent site plans have become available to show the desired building’s orientation on the land.

THE DISTRICT Throughout time, the Seaport district went from being a muddy, overseen area in the 1800’s, to a thriving spot for shipping cargo and factories84. Over time, buildings became abandoned and warehouses were left empty and dull, leaving this area to look forgotten and hopeless. Alongside the upcoming of South Boston, the Seaport district has experiencend a revival of sorts, and is now becoming the hotbed for new construction and luxury high-rise buildings, restaurants, and social centers. Figure 4.8 reflects the rise in development the area has been undergoing for some time.

Thesis Research | Chapter Three

Figure 4.1: Future plans for the “Fan Pier Development involving 60 Northern Avenue. Image source 51

Figure 4.0: Seaport Development. Image source 50.

55


SITE ONE : 60 NORTHERN AVENUE, BOSTON, MA 02210 URBAN ADJACENCEY + LOCUS MAPPING

Figure 4.3: Hand-drawn locus map with neighborhoods, medical landmarks, and adjacency to similar attractions.

Figure 4.2: Satellite view of Boston with related landmarks. Image source 50.

In regards to the surrounding area, this site is adjacent to several methods of transportation, as well as the Harborwalk, which is frequently used for it's aesthetic appeal and waterfront views. It's proximity to likened attractions, such as the Boston Children's Museum and The New England Acquarium is also worthy to mention, as in Figure 4.3, I discovered through diagramming that an adjacent triangle exists between all three sites. Also notable in Figure 4.4 is the general distance from the city's medical nodes, as well as it's proximity to attractions like museums and the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Thesis Research | Chapter Three

Figure 4.4: Color-coded map of Boston neighborhoods, with symbols for medical areas, museums, and site. Image source 51.

56


SITE ONE : 60 NORTHERN AVENUE, BOSTON, MA 02210 ACCESSIBILITY + CONTEXTUAL PLACEMENT

In analyzing site one’s placement amongst other similar landmarks, it was important to explore the accessibility to the site, but adjacent landmarks as well. Since the site is intentionally picked far away in distance from intense medical nodes of the city, the ability for patients visitors to acknowledge it’s existence and successfully access it will contribute to it’s qualifications. Below, I have diagrammed a map using symbols for various forms of transportation, as well as major access roads which would most commonly be identified for wayfinding purposes if visitors were to arrive by vehicle. Accessibility may be viewed as closely related to universal accomodation, as the site must be able to provide access for a diverse range of visitors.

Figure 4.5: Reference map for site and neighboring attractions. Image Source 52.

Figure 4.6: Diagram showing accessibility via public transportation.

Thesis Research | Chapter Three

57


SITE ONE : 60 NORTHERN AVENUE, BOSTON, MA 02210 CAD DOCUMENTATION

FIRST FLOOR PLAN

SECOND FLOOR PLAN Plans courtesy of: Boston Redevelopment Authority

Thesis Research | Chapter Three

58


SITE TWO : 27 MELCHER STREET, BOSTON, MA 02210

SITE HISTORY The product of a co-existence between two buildings, 27 Melcher Street borders the cusp of the Innovation District and South Boston. Originally built in 1902, it was intended to be a dry goods warehouse and borders Fort Point Channel87. Although the site’s address is technically along Melcher street, part of the building likes on 253 Summer Street. Six stories high, the total square footage is 175,000 sq. ft, and is home to individual tenants88. Figure 4.7: 253 Congress Street building facade. Image Source 53.

PRESENT + FUTURE Currrent tenants include Neighborhood Health Plan, DST Systems, Skanska USA, and Babson College. The building houses a diverse group of tenants, and is accomodating to both consumer and professional needs. The future of this site is unclear, but it can be postulated that a high turnover rate for tenants exists, as new spaces have been filled with various businesses throughout the past few years.

Thesis Research | Chapter Three

Figure 4.8: View of 27 Melcher Street from Melcher Street facade. Image Source 54.

59


SITE TWO : 27 MELCHER STREET, BOSTON, MA 02210 UNIVERSAL ACCESSIBILITY In regards to public transportation, this site has incredible accessibility. Located only a quarter of a mile away from South Station (MBTA red line), it’s accessible by foot over the Fort Point Bridge, and is surrounded by adjacent bus stops. Also notable is the populated area it’s situated inbecause it’s on the threshold of South Boston and the “Innovation District”, otherwise known as Fort Point, the neighborhood component contributes to ease of access through prevalance of sidewalks as a means to arriving at adjacent buildings. Not only does the Fort Point Bridge allow for walkability, but it also provides a sense of “neighborhood appeal” and aesthetic pleasure in the context of this site’s environment.

Figure 5.0: Accessibility via MBTA lines (red, green, blue, orange). Image Source 56.

Figure 4.9: Accessibility via public transportation (bus stop and train) Image Source 55.

Thesis Research | Chapter Three

Figure 5.1: Neighborhood map showing public transportation spots relative to the site. Image Source 57.

60


SITE TWO : 27 MELCHER STREET, BOSTON, MA 02210 CONTEXTUAL PLACEMENT + APPEAL Given it's direct placement along the edge of the Fort Point Channel, this site may be appealing to visitors from afar. Although the building doesn't reflect a modern or intriguing exterior, it's appealing in shape and proximity to the water. Within the context of the neighborhood, this site has far more contextual appeal than Site One, as it's situated directly off of a main street (Summer Street), and is a quarter mile walk to Atlantic Avenue and the downtown area. The surrounding neighborhood offers far more diversity in terms of attractions, and the site borders a street with several contemporary restaurants. It's also notably closer to The Boston Children's Museum, and therefore may appear more approachable for it's juxtaposition to main, identifiable roads (such as Congress Street), and for it's direct placement in a highly populated area, with easy access to adjacent parts of the city.

Image Source 58

Thesis Research | Chapter Three

Image Source 59

61


SITE TWO : 27 MELCHER STREET, BOSTON, MA 02210 CAD DOCUMENTATION

THIRD FLOOR PLAN UNOCCUPIED

Thesis Research | Chapter Three

THIRD FLOOR PLAN OCCUPIED AS OFFICE SPACE *Square footage is around 6,000 based on estimate (was not provided with documentation. If this site is used, the area will be expanded to adjacent areas on the third floor.

62


SITE COMPARISON + EVALUATION

INITIAL SITE CRITERIA

Keeping the initial evaluation criteria in mind, both sites were assessed on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the highest) in each category. CRITERIA

60 NORTHERN AVE. 27 MELCHER STREET

8.5

9

UNIVERSAL ACCOMODATION

8

8

APPEAL/APPROACHABILITY

7

9

ACCESSIBILITY

Accessibility ability to gain access from multiple forms of transportation, including: vehicular, public transportation, and by means of walking Universal Accomodation does the site allow for diversity in visitors? Is it forgiving and able to those impaired with site, age, or disability? Approachability + Appeal how approachable is the site visually afar and up close? Adjacency to the water proximity and orientation along the water.

ADJACENCY TO WATER

10

7.5

CONTEXTUAL PLACEMENT

6.5

8

9

6

8

4

SEPARATION (POSITIVE)

8.5

5

DEMOGRAPHIC APPEAL

6

7

DESIGN FLEXIBILITY

9

6

set apart from city’s “medical zones”

OVERALL SCORE

80.5

69.5

Demographic Appeal what are the demographics of the area?

EXPOSURE TO LIGHT HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE

Thesis Research | Chapter Three

Contextual Placement Is the placement of this facility appropriate? Exposure to northern light how much sunlight will the site garner at specific times of day?

Historical Importance is there any? S ep ara t i on

Design Flexibility will this site allow for the development of new spatial paradigms? 63


CONCLUSIONS + JUSTIFICATION OF SITE CHOICE HAVING ASSESSED BOTH SITES USING THE INITIAL CRITERIA, SATELLITE VIEWS, ALONG WITH USER REQUIREMENTS, THE EVALUATION HAS PROVEN THAT SITE ONE IS SUPERIOR TO SITE TWO FOR A MULTITUDE OF REASONS:

Apart from it’s adjacency to the waterfront, it has a substantial amount of grassy land, providing an aesthetic setback from the water. This may also provide grounds for exterior expansion of any new facility zones (such as the interior/exterior garden). The site's proximity to denser nodes in the Seaport district and popular areas like the Harbor Walk, thereby allows for passerbys to notice the site and potentially explore it. Modular in composition, the site is appealing from it's exterior, as well as it's contemporary look amongst the adjacent high-rise buildings, therefore making it stand out. This site inhabits a particular “non-medical” feeling of approachability. This is a major component of the criteria in regards to attracting to central user group.

In comparison to Site Two (27 Melcher Street) , Site One (60 Northern Avenue) embodies greater overall appeal from both an investigative and impressionable approch, and in many ways, beckons for you to approach it.

Thesis Research | Chapter Three

64


CHAPTER FOUR

THE PARTI


THE PARTI : PROCESS WORK The heart of this project stems from providing individualized therapeutic interaction with space, whilst participating within a larger community. This concept can be applied to schematic design directly; if providing occupants with a distinctive, tailored therapeutic experience is the purpose, then the space must be formulated to reflect that.

Figure 5.4: Preliminary parti sketch

My original parti sketch was thought of as a pie- fractions which broke off for individual consumption, but still contributed to the whole. I thought about the elements of the pie, like communal space, and individual treatment areas, but still staying within the “bubble” from the outside world. The funnel is meant to convey a “portal” from public space to the facility’s atmosphere.(Figure 5.4).

Thesis Research | Chapter Four

Figure 5.5: Secondary parti sketch

When considering this idea abstractly, I envision it as a separate entity from the rest of the pulsing city; a form of retreat for those who are seeking help, but don’t want the intensity of Boston’s dense medical areas. Particularly for a child, the ability to approach this facility with explorative desire introduces the abstraction of momentarily removing oneself physically, and emotionally, from reality.

66


STATEMENT + DIAGR AM IN WORDS...

WITHOUT

To each their own space within the mind’s corridors; relief found in the fractions of a whole, seperate from the world’s pace. To be within one’s own world of reprieve, and without the boundaries of life outside the lines.

Thesis Research | Chapter Four

67


THE MODEL

Reflecting the final sketch, the model metaphorically represents the theme of being present within a communal space, but with the different aveues and experiences one chooses to have. The breaks in each circle represent individualistic pathways, while the variations in height broadly signify the alternative sensory levels within one space. Despite the break in the final surrounding “ring”, a form of encompassment and removal from the external world is implied. The surrounding two outermost rings are also intentionally chosen as darker colors, in some ways symbolizing a safety “border” between within and without; a distinctive margin between an individualized sensory experience and the outside world.

Thesis Research | Chapter Four

68


CONCLUSION

"T H E

Thesis Research | Chapter Four

M I N D is it's own place,

and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.."

69


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Profile for Brooke A. Warner

Sensory Perception of Space  

A research publication as part one of a thesis dissertation on the importance of environmental psychology, particularly in relevance to ment...

Sensory Perception of Space  

A research publication as part one of a thesis dissertation on the importance of environmental psychology, particularly in relevance to ment...

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