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See what they are saying about Trauma-informed Design Society in the news.

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BUILDINGS THAT HEAL

Prisons and homeless shelters aren't known for their beautiful aesthetic, but a new architectural movement is changing that, building sanctuaries to aid the post-traumatic growth of the most vulnerable in society.

Words by Emine Saner

November 14, 2023

Many women in custody have never lived in a safe environment. Hope Street aims to change that. Image: Fotohaus

"Imagine what you expect a homeless shelter or facility for women leaving prison to look like.  Institutional, perhaps, utilitarian, no-frills, thrown together with minimal thought?  And if that were the case, how would it make residents feel?

"An architectural movement, known as trauma-informed design (TID), has emerged to counterbalance dehumanising design - and it's gaining pace, creating beautiful buildings for some of the people who need it most.

 

"'We look at spaces in a way that anticipates a person's potential triggers, or what might raise their stress levels, and work with design to mitigate that,' says Christine Cowart, co-founder of the Trauma-informed Design Society (TiDS).'"

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How School Design Can Help Children Feel Safe

Trauma-sensitive design can create safety and comfort, essential for learning.

By Erin Peavey

Designed for Happiness

September 23, 2023

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"But children today face some uniquely difficult conditions, from school shootings (or the threat of them), to the looming threat of climate change, to the pandemic uprooting their sense of structure, control, and predictability. The accumulation of these overwhelming events, occurring on a regular basis—not to mention the additional very real challenges that many children face at home—…can in some cases alter the structure of a child’s brain to be hyper-alert to attempt to control their environment or avoid future pain....

"Here, I'll focus on schools and other places of learning for children, from early childhood to high school. I'll outline six core themes to consider when designing spaces with a trauma-informed approach, based on the trauma-informed principles defined by The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), as well as specific evidence-based design strategies and examples to help any parent, teacher, school administrator, designer, loved one, or community member advocate for schools that support the mental well-being of children. It’s my hope that this article helps explain what trauma-informed design means, why it matters, and how it can be used in schools....

"For more detailed information, refer to the full Trauma Informed Design Evaluation Tool for K-12 Schools."

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Buildings That Can Heal in the Wake of Trauma

Practitioners of the emerging architectural movement called trauma-informed design see buildings as “the first line of therapy.”

By Zach Mortice

April 10, 2023 at 11:15 AM EDT

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"The key here is designing 'as much choice as possible' into spaces, says Christine Cowart, the third TIDS co-founder. This means ensuring that as different people with different trauma responses move through a space, or as people’s desires change from hour to hour or day to day, there’s always a place for them to be. It can be a careful balance. A grand atrium can be an exciting place for large social events, but it can also be overwhelming, says Cowart, if 'you don’t feel like you have a place of shelter.'"

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Form Follows Feeling: Trauma-Informed Design and the Future of Interior Spaces

Written by Dima Stouhi

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​"'TiD is a new concept that has not yet achieved a unified definition. We define it as a design process for the built environment based on trauma informed care principles. All decisions about the physical environment must be filtered through the overlapping lenses of psychology, neuroscience, physiology, and cultural factors. The intent is to create uniquely-designed spaces where all users feel a sense of safety (both real and perceived), respect, connection and community, control, dignity, and joy. Each TiD environment should aim to specifically meet the unique needs of the intended users, recognizing that some helpful and healing design elements may look different for different populations.'"

Trauma-Informed Design: A New Social Equity Imperative

By applying the principles of “trauma-informed care,” building professionals can prevent re-traumatization while reducing stress for everyone.

by Paula Melton

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"That’s the potential power of trauma-informed design (TID)—a newly developing practice, still not fully defined, that attempts to create a sense of calm, control, and safety for people who have experienced trauma. And like all types of universal design, trauma-informed design can help everyone who occupies a space."

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REMARKABLE WOMEN: CHRISTINE COWART

Written by Courtney Adelman

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"...Cowart started her own company to help all kinds of people learn about trauma...She created a website and offered training to anyone who wanted it. It wasn’t long before her organization took off and she began offering webinars, panel discussions, and courses in trauma.

 

"Cowart has offered training to law enforcement agencies, educators, and a variety of other professionals...Her goal is to change the story and help people or organizations become resilient! Along with her extensive trauma work, Christine also works on diversity issues with her local school district and is the co-chair of her work division’s racial equity committee. And that’s what makes Christine Cowart a remarkable woman."

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Christine Cowart: Sharing her love of skiing with others

Phyl Newbeck, Contributor

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"That helped spur Cowart to become a certified trauma professional as well as a member of the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Speakers and Trainers Bureau...Since then, Cowart has created trainings through PSIA and an organization called Move United, but she has also gone beyond the athletic world to provide training on trauma-informed policing for an organization in New Jersey, another for teachers in New York City, and yet another on transforming correctional facilities, which she described as trauma-inducing environments."

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