Trauma-informed design: healing and recovery in second-stage housing
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This practicum project is an investigation into the design of a second-stage house and the role that interior design can play in creating a healing environment based on a trauma-informed approach. Approaching the design with a knowledge of the trauma of domestic abuse, the effects of this trauma, and the recovery process was central to the project. Through a process of literature review, four key themes in recovery of domestic abuse were found. The key themes of safety, empowerment, social support and psychological healing became the design guidelines for the project. Using these four guidelines as a foundation, concepts in environmental psychology were explored. The concepts of privacy, territory and restorative design were chosen for their relevance to the design guidelines. Through an exploration of these design concepts in conjunction with the four themes of recovery, a trauma-informed second-stage housing design called River Tree is proposed.