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Mental Health: The Latest Architecture and News

Poetics of Space and Mental Health: How Architecture Can Help Prevent Suicides

According to the latest survey carried out by the World Health Organization - WHO, in 2019 there were more than 700,000 suicides worldwide. In Brazil, records approach 14,000 cases per year, that is, on average 38 people commit suicide per day. In this context, “Yellow September” was created in Brazil, the largest anti-stigma campaign in the world that encourages everyone to actively act in the awareness and prevention of suicide, a topic that is still seen as taboo.

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Care Beyond Biopolitics

What would it mean to design buildings that exceed the economic accountings of liberal biopolitics, that instead offer an entirely different rationale for supporting health? In the years that Michel Foucault conceptualized the term biopolitics, he was part of a constellation of researchers and architects who developed care praxes that defined the value of life and its maintenance through a desire-based calculus. The welfare state institutions of architect Nicole Sonolet in particular—mental hospitals, public housing complexes, and new village typologies built mainly in postwar France and postcolonial Algeria from the 1950s to the 1980s—were designed not only to support but to center the needs of people often excluded from design processes. Sonolet’s mental health centers for residents of Paris’s 13th arrondissement, in particular, were key projects for discovering a design practice tied to the provision of care for its own sake.

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The Second Studio Podcast: Architecture’s Mental Health & Burnout Problem

The Second Studio (formerly The Midnight Charette) is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by Architects David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features different creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions.

A variety of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes are interviews, while others are tips for fellow designers, reviews of buildings and other projects, or casual explorations of everyday life and design. The Second Studio is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.

This week David and Marina discuss mental health and burnout in architecture, covering how the issue is perceived by different generations, why looking to other colleagues and professions can be helpful but also not helpful, passion as a solution and problem, the inherent complexity of architecture, architects being undervalued, whether or not architecture school should change, the instability of a project-based practice, and the main reasons for poor mental health and burnout exist in architecture and how they can be addressed.

Architect Kim Holden on why Birth is a Design Problem in Design and the City Podcast

In a Design and the City episode - a podcast by reSITE on how to make cities more livable – architect and founder of Doula x Design and co-founder of SHoP Architects Kim Holden discusses how rethinking and redesigning the ways birth is approached can change the outcomes of labor and birth experiences, and improve the qualities of life for both the babies and women giving birth to them. The interview explores how it is crucial to investigate the spaces where generations come into this world, just as we have been planning and building better cities for them to work and live in.

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Coronavirus Design Competition


Things aren't going too well right now. Each new day seems to add to the uncertainty about the immediate and long-term impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Whether you think that people are overreacting or it is truly a global health emergency, one fact is objectively true: Covid-19 has affected billions of lives: if not physically than economically and mentally.

Entire cities in China have been on lockdown for weeks and now Europe faces the same pressures. Behind the news stories that love to flash statistics on infection rates are real people who are uncertain of what this

The Trends that Will Influence Architecture in 2019

It is, once again, the time of year where we look towards the future to define the goals and approaches that we will take for our careers throughout the upcoming year. To help the millions of architects who visit ArchDaily every day from all over the world, we compiled a list of the most popular ideas of 2018, which will continue to be developed and consolidated throughout 2019.

Over 130 million users discovered new references, materials, and tools in 2018 alone, infusing their practice of architecture with the means to improve the quality of life for our cities and built spaces. As users demonstrated certain affinities and/or demonstrated greater interest in particular topics, these emerged as trends. 

Exhibition: Living with Buildings

How does our built environment affect us? This major exhibition spanning two galleries examines the positive and negative influence buildings have on our health and wellbeing. From Dickensian London to the bold experiments of postwar urban planners, and from healing spaces for cancer patients to the role architecture can play in global healthcare provision, we look anew at the buildings that surround and shape us.

Is Architecture Synonymous with Stress?

The idea of becoming an architect and working in the field can seem to go against notions of a good work-life balance. With long journeys, pressing deadlines and the need to make informed decisions quickly, combined with potentially low wages and a quagmire of tricky working relationships and red-tape, architecture is conceived to be one of the most stressful professions.

A survey by Architect's Journal in 2016 found that 25% of UK architecture students are seeking mental health related treatments. In an article by Jennifer Whelan, published in May 2014 about mental health of architectural students, the author discusses the results of research conducted by the University of Toronto Graduate Student of Architecture, Landscape and Design (GALDSU) where the majority of students admitted to regularly pulling all-nighters, skipping meals, forgoing extracurricular social activities, and rarely exercising in order to finish projects on time.

New Study to Investigate Skyscraper-Induced Depression and Motion Sicknesses

Have you been experiencing motion sickness, depression, sleepiness, and even fear, as you gaze out of your window from the 44th floor? If so, you may be prone to “Sick Building Syndrome” – the informal term for side effects caused by swaying skyscrapers, according to experts at the Universities of Bath and Exeter, who are launching a £7 million ($8.6 million) study into their causes and prevention through testing simulations.

“More and more people are living and working in high-rises and office blocks, but the true impact of vibrations on them is currently very poorly understood,” explained Alex Pavic, Professor of Vibration Engineering at the University of Exeter. “It will for the first time link structural motion, environmental conditions, and human body motion, psychology, and physiology in a fully controllable virtual environment.”

Study Finds 25% of UK Architecture Students Have Sought Treatment for Mental Health Issues

Are the rigors and tribulations of architecture school causing serious impacts on students' mental health? A new student survey conducted by Architect’s Journal has found that more than a quarter of architecture students in the UK are currently seeking or have sought medical help for mental health issues related to architecture school, and another 25% anticipate seeking help in the future.

The results have prompted Anthony Seldon, vice-chancellor at the University of Buckingham and a mental-health campaigner, to describe the situation as “a near epidemic of mental-health problems.”

Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health Launch Event and Reception

If you are interested in the nexus between health, design, and the urban setting, join researchers, policymakers, practitioners, designers and others for an evening of dynamic, diverse presentations, conversations, and drinks to celebrate the launch of this exciting new initiative.

Interview: Behind the Scenes of the University of Toronto's Mental Health Report

In a TED Talk from 2009, writer Elizabeth Gilbert muses about how uncomfortable she is with the assumption that “creativity and suffering are somehow inherently linked.” The majority of Gilbert's thoughtful and humorous monologue is about finding sanity amidst both success and failure, or in other words, about finding a way to break this link. Earlier this year, the University of Toronto Graduate Architecture Landscape and Design Student Union’s (GALDSU) set out to do just that – break the link between creativity and suffering at their school – and start a productive dialogue about mental health. GALDSU began by gathering the facts through a mental health study of their peers, the results of which we discussed several months ago.

To learn more about what's happened at their school (and beyond) since it was published, we sat down with Joel Leon, the man who spearheaded the effort and the newly elected president of the student union, as well as Elise Hunchuck, the vice-president of the student union.

Mental Health in Architecture School: Can the Culture Change?

The Graduate Architecture, Landscape, and Design Student Union (GALDSU) at the University of Toronto recently published the results of its first mental health survey, which asked students to reflect on their experience at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. Many past and present students have met the findings, which paint a blatantly bleak picture of the architecture student experience, with little to no surprise. The report brings the issue of poor mental and physical health in architecture schools to the forefront of our consciousness; however, the cool response it has elicited undercuts the initiative and raises important questions. If we were already aware of the problem, why hasn't change already been initiated? Will this always be the accepted, brutal reality of architecture education?