Improving mental wellbeing on college campuses through participatory art installation
Author(s)Han, Sonya Lei
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
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In recent years, the mental wellbeing of the students and faculty here at MIT has generated a lot of discussion, both on campus and in the press. In response to this, a large number of student-lead and institute-lead mental health initiatives have been launched, promoting conversation and acceptance, and providing a wide range of social and medical resources. However, can we further supplement our community's mental wellbeing through altering our physical surroundings? This thesis draws on precedent research and case studies in the fields of psychology, biology, and art, and combines it with site-specific observational studies of student life on campus. The culmination is the proposal and implementation of a public art installation that uses properties of soil, nature, and customizable components that users can interact with. This installation aims to improve the mental wellbeing of the community at MIT and/or anyone who comes into contact with the art objects through different modes of active interaction and passive interaction. The thesis concludes with an examination of the installation and a discussion of the feedback gained from users as well as observed behaviors exhibited in relation to the objects.
Thesis: S.B., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, 2016.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 45-46).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology