Darian
Shephard

From designing a residential space that caters to a child with autism to her 4th year capstone project – a Women’s Wellness Centre that caters to trauma recovery and rehabilitation – Darian finds she can’t help but be inspired the users of spaces and their special requirements. After completing her degree in Interior Design through KPU’s CIDA accredited program, she is looking forward to applying her skills and abilities into a professional practice. Additionally, she has completed a certificate in computer aided drafting and design (CAD) and found the skills she learned immensely useful when applied to the rest of her studies.

Darian is passionate about the design industry and seeks ways to stay involved such as; volunteering for numerous years at the Vancouver Modern Home Tour, and in the student charrette at IDS – Vancouver. There she was able to attend the Shine Awards for the first time after her group’s outstanding team-work won over the panel of judges. Darian believes it is important to stay up-to-date on discussions within the industry especially regarding human- centered design, sustainability, and health and wellness. Moving onward, she is passionate in becoming LEED and WELL certified.

Women’s Trauma-Informed Wellness Centre

Darian’s 4th year capstone project was to design a Women’s Trauma-Informed Wellness Centre, designated to a middle-class female clientele, that focuses on trauma recovery and rehabilitation. Throughout her preliminary research into this demographic, Darian found that with a lack of trauma support to a middle-class female clientele too often many women suffer in silence and aren’t given the help & guidance they desperately require.

The downside is studies show individuals who experience trauma are far more susceptible to a variety of stress-disorders and life-long chronic illnesses than opposed to those whom never experience trauma. The good news however, is studies also show with proper post-crisis treatments, therapies, & community support, the severity of stress-disorders and chronic illnesses can be significantly lessened.

Therefore, the design intent was to provide a safe, secure & comfortable environment that focused on wellness and community support. Overall, the design of the facility with its variety of services and amenities it would offer aimed to improve the overall quality of life for those suffering.

Materiality was very important to this project, and was based off a soft neutral palette to not overwhelm and over-stimulate the users. Many individuals whom suffer from anxiety and other stress disorders may already feel overwhelmed with anxious thoughts and feelings and having a highly-stimulating environment may further overwhelm the users of the space. So instead, bright colours and patterns were avoided, and a focus on a variety of textures and natural materials with subtle differences in shades were the focus, mostly keeping to a monochromatic palette throughout.

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