Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Industrial Design

Department

Industrial Design

First Advisor

Charles Cannon

Second Advisor

Pradeep Sharma

Third Advisor

Howard Lichter

Abstract

We are creatures of habit influenced by our environments. We function on a 24-hour clock known as our circadian rhythm that is dictated by the solar cycle, seasonal shifts, and our daily schedules to determine our understanding of time to que our behaviors. The circadian rhythm can be disrupted by trauma to the brain, shift in lifestyle and habits, or inability to determine the passage of time and can lead to profound effects on mental health. Soldiers who are transitioning out of military service into civilian life, particularly those who have experienced combat, are an archetypal population who encounter damage to their circadian rhythm which results in critical changes to their mental health.

The United States has deployed millions of soldiers to the Middle East. Of the troops returning home, nearly one third of them are struggling with invisible injuries. The trauma they experienced can manifest in a variety of psychological symptoms, many unique to the soldier. Complicated by the shift from military structure to the independence of civilian lifestyles, homecoming soldiers face a crippling blow to their internal clocks. The circadian rhythm is a delicate system and damage can lead to disassociation, flashbacks, panic attacks, imbalanced sleep cycles, and intrusive thoughts. Without a sense of belonging, in congruence with these symptoms, veterans face an anxiety that culminates into a critical trigger of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Talistones are physical objects that create haptic and visual feedback in response to their body’s physical response to their invisible wounds. Talistones embody the essence of talismans to honor veterans and provide a subtle introduction to recalibrating their internal systems through patterns and repetition to help them on their path to healing.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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