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Transformative Space: An Exploration of Strength and Optimism in a Healing Center Open Access

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Mental illness affects a large segment of the population, yet many of thosewho are suffering hesitate to seek treatment. One of the main factors behindthis hesitancy is the social stigma associated with mental illness. The intentof this project is to create a wellness center that will combat the stigmathrough a holistic approach to health and a reestablishment of the humanconnection to nature. This intention will be achieved through the principlesof origami and the use of natural light. Origami is the transformation ofa simple, fragile piece of paper into a precise, multi-faceted object with astrength that defies its materiality. The idea of taking something that inone form or position is perceived as weak but that becomes strong withmanipulation is one way to describe mental healing. By incorporating thephysical manifestation of the principles of origami into the wellness center, aspace will be created that is infused with strength and optimism. Origami isalso a good basis for the re-establishment of a human connection to nature,which will have a positive impact on well-being. In many ways origami is amanmade manifestation of nature, from the intricate folds mimicking thepleasing fractal patterns found throughout nature to the fact that manyorigami creations are directly inspired by elements of nature. This connectionto nature can be established abstractly through the fractal folds of origami,and concretely through the introduction of natural elements in the design,primarily through the use of natural lights. The two main design influences(light + origami) will intersect in the design, as it will manipulate light byfolding and bending it as necessary to realize the design. In this way, lightbecomes the main material, much as paper is the material in traditionalorigami.

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