Saturday, February 22, 2014

Process Time!

By Brittany Ricker

Last Tuesday, February 4, 2014 was the first official pin-up/review for thesis. I’ve mentioned in previous articles that I am proposing a psychiatric treatment center that will focus on treating adolescents struggling with depression. Unless you can see in to the future and know exactly what needs to be done and have a brain full of knowledge about every single topic known to mankind, documenting your process as you study a topic is KEY. There are so many different areas that play an important role in designing a psychiatric treatment center that I have been struggling with narrowing it down and if I don’t document my process either through diagrams or creating a summary of the topic researching it honestly gets lost along the way and never makes it to the final presentation. With this design there are a few key ideas I want to strongly emphasize with the design of this new facility:
(Not in any particular order…)
-          Integration of all five+ senses
-          Sensorial spaces for exhibition and therapy
-          Artistic and therapeutic workshops
-          Acoustics and intimacy levels experienced in certain theaters/art galleries
-          Meditation
-          Considering how parts of the brain react to certain situations during depression and finding a way to incorporate elements of design that will better serve the patients. Trying to understand what it means to being “centered”.

Putting a strong emphasis on these key ideas has kept me on a pretty decent track and not going off on too much of a tangent in my research… Okay that’s a lie BUT since I have set goals/ideas of what I want to portray in the final design, it has given me the opportunity to present these ideas to my thesis committee. This was extremely helpful, they were able to point out areas that needs more research, areas of my research that I was able to convey clearly and areas that I need to revisit, ideas that I haven’t thought of and would benefit/ backup my reasoning for the psychiatric treatment center.
Image by Author
Illustrating the “Out of Site, Out of Mind” concept typically seen traditional psychiatric treatment centers. Also the diagram below shows how the population of the hospital increased drastically and during the presentation there was a discussion of the level of security was impacted, safety, their privileges were revoked. Basically you weren’t going to a place to receive treatment you were admitting yourself into a jail in 1959 at Creedmoor State Hospital along with numerous other hospitals across the United States.

Diagrams by Author | Underlay of SimSensei screenshots from YouTube video analysis
Diagram by Author | Representing the body language presented and overlaying it directly on the site to analyze areas of interest that could help guide the process of the way patients/public could possibly interact/circulate through this design. 
Drawing by Author | Abstract approach to explaining what may happen to a person with depression or how someone might be feeling… overwhelmed, sad, guilt, stress … It’s hard to put down in one sentence how one might feel or what caused one to become depressed because usually one thing isn’t the cause…. It’s a complicated journey of H*** (coming from personal experience). BUT with the right tools/coping skills you could come out a much stronger person then you ever imagined.
 Diagram by Author | Mapping out the areas that lend itself to becoming program elements in the design. Using this distorted/shattered human head and actually understanding that all those pieces have significance and learning to tackle those areas can help begin the reconstruction process. Most people that have viewed this diagram thought it was strange that I used a broken/deteriorating head as a symbol for reconstruction… I guess I viewed this as taking the opportunity to take those pieces and reconstruct/piece back together into something stronger… After all, all those pieces define who you are, it’s up to you to decide how you want to view those pieces.. good or bad. Take control of your life.

Diagram by Author
Diagram by Author
Diagram by Author | Process of forming programmatic areas within the site and circulation.

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