Architecture: Workplace Injury In Relation To Substance Abuse

First and foremost, even though the architecture field has a low substance abuse rate “alcohol is the substance these design professionals are most likely to be dependent upon”. In turn, this can pose as dangerous to not only the individual, but others that he/she comes into contact with while in that of his/her work environment. For, addiction takes place in the workplace more often times then not, but those who struggle with such can be good at hiding it. But even so—despite the “7.9% abuse rate in architects in 2010/2011”—the numbers have most likely altered through the passing of time.

Therefore, addiction isn’t something that can always be seen by the eye, but just as with any career architects can very easily be impaired, but not come across as so. Not only that, but an injury that takes place at work—and/or maybe at home—can cause a drastic change to the work ethic of an architect. For, he/she might not be as focused on his/her work, and begin to drink in response to the injury, especially if it disallows him/her to continue with work—and forces him/her to take time off.

Time off may even allow stress in the life of him/her as he/she has to accommodate to life at home. This can even cause one’s addiction to worsen—especially if he/she is already struggling with such—because he/she is forced into a corner where he/she is unable to engage in his/her normal work routine. Depression can begin to settle in response to such, and even more so for those who enjoy what they do, but who are unable to fully engage themselves like they would like to—due to injury. This can pose as difficult for anyone if much of his/her life revolves around work, and he/she is drastically taken out of his/her environment. Not only that, but he/she might use alcohol—and/or drugs—to dull the pain of a workplace injury if it is one of great severity, and that causes a significant amount of discomfort.

In conclusion, one mustn’t think that since a particular field has a low rate of substance abuse/dependency that individuals working in that particular profession are in the clear. The fact of the matter is no one is safe from the pitfall of addiction, as it is something that anyone can endure no matter his/her age, or field of work.


Architecture: Constructing Recovery Through “Evidence Based Design”

Unfortunately, due to the world in which we live in, architecture is often times overlooked as a form of healing for addicts. For, a majority of the time, when one thinks of recovery for those struggling with substance abuse, his/her mind automatically draws to options such as rehab.

However, in doing so, a number of people frequently miss the treatment that lies in the simplest of things—such as the elements that surround them in that of a constructed building. In turn, there are a number of principles listed—and/or important aspects—that architects must take into account when constructing a place of recovery for addicts, but one of the most important is evidence based design.

Evidence based design—which is also known as EBD—is defined as “the process of basing decisions about the built environment on credible research to achieve the best possible outcomes”. It is through this process that architects are able to better assess, judge, and plan before acting/engaging in the design itself.

Not only that, but evidence based design has become prominent in healthcare design because most hospitals aim to construct ‘healing setting’ for their patients. In turn, they must know what they are building—and how they are going to go about building it—to better fit the patients’ needs. For, there are certain aspects which can help better promote the healing—and/or recovery—such as the color, shape, place, size, etc. As a result, evidence based design allows architects to determine what is needed, for what is being built, by looking at past research, and basing their decisions off such.

Consequently, many patient rooms—in our modern day world—still lack the color and natural sunlight that they need to promote a healthy well-being in that of the individual. In fact, research shows “the influence of well designed environments on positive patient health outcomes, and poor design on negative effects including longer hospital stays”.

In conclusion, evidence based design allows architects to not only build in a way that serves as more efficient, but to also construct with not just the project in mind, but the person/patient. Such a process allows them to do such, without going head first into a project blind eyed—and unaware—as to the way in which it should be built. As a result, recovery can be constructed for future patients of a in-treatment rehabilitation facility—allowing them to regain their health more quickly—by simply being uplifted/healed through aspects such as; window lighting, the color of the room/walls, and so on.


Architecture As Therapy

Architecture is defined by google as, “the art of practice of designing and constructing buildings.” However, what many fail to recognize is the difference that such an art can make in the lives of those who struggle with addiction—as it helps them to reconstruct/rebuild that of their own lives. As a result, there are a number of factors that should be taken into account when looking at architecture as a therapy, but three—of some of the most important—are; 1. Health Benefits, 2. Intended Purpose, and 3. Color Therapy.

First and foremost are the health benefits that come through architecture when done properly. For, elements of nature that are implemented into the construction of a particular space can have a big impact on one individual—and/or a set group of individuals. Some examples of this can be seen through skylights, greenhouses, courtyards, windows, and other installments. It is through such that struggling addicts are able to have a natural source of light—rather than artificial—which allows for a much more healthy/enjoyable environment. Not only that, but sunlight helps stimulate good mental health in a number of ways by reducing anxiety and stress, and nourishing one’s psyche.

Second is the intended purpose, which is an extremely important principle, especially in terms of the architecture of what is being constructed. For example, a rehab center is going to be built a little more differently than a school, the same goes for a library and a grocery store. In turn, one must plan accordingly, and have a visual of the outcome, before he/she even begins the project. It is through such that addicts who reside in such can begin to find their purpose in a building that has purpose—and/or that was constructed with their best interest in mind.

Third is color therapy which is defined as, “a system of alternative medicine based on the use of color, especially projected light color”. In turn, it is believed by some that color can promote good health—and is said that by “using healing colors for a room or clothing, you can significantly change the patient’s mood and bring about many mind, body benefits”. For example, red is a warm color which is said to “induce vitality and stimulate energy”.

In conclusion, architecture can be used as a therapy to help the well being of addicts more often than one might think. For sometimes it’s the way that a particular place—or space—is constructed that makes all the difference. It is through such that the color scheme and intended purpose of a particular place can make all the difference in the health/well-being of those struggling with addiction.


How Architecture Aids In Addiction Recovery

Oftentimes—in the midst of a fast paced society—we witness a wide array of architecture day-by-day. Yet even so, we still fail to stop—and take in—all that surrounds a particular location, such as; 1. the space, 2. the place, and 3. the design. For, it is through these three factors that addicts can either be affected for better, or for worse. However, such things are oftentimes overlooked by the outside world—but can make a significant impact in the lives of those struggling with addiction, and who are on the road to recovery.

First and foremost is space, which can go a long way in contributing to one’s happiness—if it’s crafted in the right way. As a matter of fact it doesn’t matter whether the space itself is in the form of a house, apartment, office building, etc.—but rather how it has been structured. For instance, if an individual is confined to an environment that is both restricted and gloomy, that very same atmosphere may reflect within his/her mood/behavior. The same thing takes place if one finds himself/herself in a room with no windows, and/or a room with little to no color.

Second is place, which can bring about a plethora of problems if one is not careful in choosing a setting which benefits the resident’s—and/or residents’—health. For, there are a number of locales that struggling addicts can chose to reside in for reasons that may have very little to do with the place itself, but rather the scenery/view that surrounds it. In turn, place is a factor of great importance—and must serve as a safe haven—whether it be for one individual or many.

Third is design. For, it is through such that addicts can witness beauty during a difficult time in their lives where there may seem to be none. Not only that, but the design—and layout—of a particular building allows them the opportunity to branch out, and discover a new place, without even having to leave home. In turn, those who struggle with addiction don’t have to travel to take part in new places, but can instead explore the architecture which surrounds them.

In conclusion, architecture plays a bigger role—than one might think—in the healing of addicts. For, it is through space, place, and design that they can find comfort in the midst of their recovery. Not only that, but they can begin to find hope again—while residing in a place which contributes to their health, rather than making them feel isolated.