My name is Julia Gregoris. Throughout my childhood I have always been interested in the fine arts, displaying my creativity though drawing and water colour or acrylic painting. It is because of my interest in art that I wanted to be able to pursue a career in which I could apply my knowledge in art and creativity in the everyday life. I wanted to be able to create spaces for people that are motivating and inspiring; I wanted to be able to contribute to a persons happiness through created spaces. As a result, I have chosen to pursue a career in interior design at Humber College.
Art therapy is a therapeutic methodology with the purpose of eliminating a persons anxious thoughts or feelings and teaching them how to cope with their mental health conditions. It is important that an art therapy clinic promotes wellness to patients with anxiety, while reflecting a less clinical environment."Creative Clarity Art Therapy Centre" is a healing space designed to treat adults with anxiety. The space focuses on patient-centred care through an interactive environment, promoting wellness to patients through a positive and safe experience.
Rationale and Design Narrative
"Creative Clarity Art Therapy Centre" was developed by focusing on patient-centred care, creating a space to help adults between the ages of 18-30, cope with the effects of anxiety. Interactive spaces were first analyzed, considering interactive walls and flooring systems that were used to create the interactive spaces. After further examination, it was noticed that the wall and flooring systems were all composed in a "grid" formation, with columns and rows being used to divide specific spaces for different purposes. This then allowed the concept of the design to expand to focusing on Grid systems. With the existing building, located at 415 Eastern Avenue, currently structured in a grid composition, this assisted greatly with the overall project and concept.
Design Connection to Research
After site studies were conducted when collecting research for the thesis project, it was noticed that most of the clinical facilities did not incorporate design features that would contribute to the wellness of patients. When a person suffers from anxiety, they need structure in their lives while also having the ability to move freely within the space. Most of the factors that were proven through research to be calming in clinical facilities, were not incorporated into the spaces. "Creative Clarity Art Therapy Centre" is designed to have acoustic and visual privacy, biophilic design elements, and branding that would distinguish the facility. Through the incorporation of the grid and interactive features, along with researched design elements meant to promote the wellness of patients, a healing environment was created for adults suffering from anxiety, while resembling a less “clinical” environment.
Character of Space
"Creative Clarity Art Therapy Centre" is three levels in total, with two above grade and one below. The building is divided into three spaces; the main level being a social space where patients can interact with each other, the upper level is a private space with lounging areas and private offices for the art therapists and psychotherapists, and the basement is storage. Finishes within the space include the existing concrete flooring, light coloured bamboo wood for millwork details and wall textures, and light green paint on walls as well as acoustical wall tiling and panels with the same light green paint. The materials and finishes used in the space reflect a calming environment as light green is a relaxing colour that is typically used in spas along with light woods. The open atrium and windows of the building allow for daylight to enter the space, assisting in creating a positive and motivating environment for patients.
The program requirements for the art therapy centre will include spaces and areas designated for activities such as clay making, painting, doodling, yoga, a quiet lounge space for patients, as well as private offices for the therapy sessions that will take place between patients and art therapists, and patients and psychotherapists. There will be a receptionist at the front entrance of the building for patients to check-in and out of their appointments. A cafe will be placed close to the waiting area for patients who may be waiting or for family members and caregivers to wait for their loved ones who will be in a session. It is by incorporating all of these elements into the program and developing a design that divides the overall space into private and quiet spaces that a positive and safe environment will be developed to help adults cope with the effects of anxiety.