Date of Award
Master of Architecture (MArch)
The world is built on ‘what-ifs’ and ‘I hopes.’ The more one can dream, the further development goes in design. We are told anything is possible if you put your mind to it, and as we have lived through many different eras, the limit in which we extend our mind has expanded. Research shows that emotional and mental instability has risen over 50% in the past decade in people under 30. How does the understanding of emotions and trauma impact the understanding and the feelings attached to designed spaces for rest and rehabilitation. We are constantly observing and adapting to new environments, technologies, and ideologies. It is It’s very easy to continue to work and live in ways that are seen as traditional. However, continuing to do things the same way they have always been done doesn’t benefit everyone and halts the ability to evolve. This halt creates a stressful objective to life which impacts our mental capacity to stretch our emotional boundaries. Through the history of mental illness and the evolution of technology and architecture, a link can be observed. Throughout the history of space, the term “home” has been used to describe a place of safety and happiness, a safe haven to say the least. But this safe haven is a reflection of our curiosities, mental health, ambitions, dreams. All things are altering to be more customizable, or intelligent. From smartphones to smart cars, to smart homes, we are including new layers of thinking to inherently improve the comfort of the users through the design process. This thesis proposes that the spaces we inhabit for production are informed and shaped by our emotional contamination, and that contamination is often subconscious and invisible. It suggests that we can become aware of this contamination and use it to inform our production practices by replacing Phantom elements with signs of rest. In the attempt to investigate generational mental instability that we all have in a world built around technology and consumerism, understanding the healing tactics of emotions and trauma will generate design strategies in the speculative practice of rest and rehabilitation in Architecture. There is a direct connection between emotional stability and trauma, as well as an indirect connection between space and feelings. Analysis of the literature from Psychologists and Theorists like Oliver Sacks’ The Mind’s Eye suggests that the mind of thinking, processing, and feeling are all processed through illusion and perception. These illusions and perceptions become forms of the spaces we inhabit the most, or where important memories have been created. This thesis further proposes that understanding and engaging with our emotional contamination can lead to more mindful and purposeful production and ultimately, more meaningful and fulfilling work.
Williams II, Craytonia, "Phantom Spaces" (2023). Masters Theses. 1013.
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