Adolescent Development: Creative art making strategies for well-being

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Wurch, Katherine
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This Master of Interior Design practicum investigated how an art based makerspace in Winnipeg Manitoba, can support adolescents through their development in achieving holistic well-being. The practicum explored the benefits of art through its identity as a biological behavior, educational experience, and therapeutic expression. Through these definitions of art, the actual process of making becomes significant to the development of adolescents. Due to the project location and surrounding community, the makerspace acknowledged and incorporated Indigenous land-based art making. Unlike many current makerspaces focusing on advanced technology, this practicum focuses on the humanely intrinsic need to handmake, as a way for adolescents to connect and communicate with one another. In support of this concept, The Constructivist Learning Theory was explored, promoting learning about art through direct experiences, or hands-on learning. Inspired by the field of art therapy, strategies of creative art making were explored. An approach known as the Expressive Therapies Continuum created a design concept for the stages in which adolescents process the art created within the space. Such strategies of creative art making informed the approach to art making activities and wellness opportunities. The practicum considers the needs of developing adolescents by providing the opportunity to build trusted connections and a sense of identity in a comfortably engaging environment.
art therapy, makerspace, inner city, Winnipeg