Design in a Context of Social Equity: Therapy Rooms in Schools
Authors: Joana Saes, Augusto Deodato Guerreiro
Abstract: The term design, used in the English language but whose origin goes back to Latin, “designare”, concentrates in itself a double meaning, that of “designating” and “drawing”. The concept of design entered the present world of communication and globalization from the nineteenth century through the three interconnected historical global processes: “Industrialization”, “Modern Urbanization” and “Globalization”, thus giving birth to a new form of represent and convey knowledge. Knowledge, in all contexts and situations, will only have to be available to everyone, in terms of ergonomics (but inclusive), accessibility and usability. Design, in a context of social equity, works on the needs of each individual and the same individual in the community, thus, it can be perceived as a tool that allows transforming spaces, equipment, and environments, according to the target audience requirements.As contemporary societies face global changes, so do the individuals. Studies show an increase of about 25% in cases of anxiety and depression in young people, motivated by the pandemic caused by Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID 19). UNICEF alerts of the high impact, on the mental health and well-being of children and young people, that the confinements, resulting from the current pandemic, continues to cause, as well as some type of loss in terms of education, in more than 1,6 billion children, as stated by Lusa (2021). The school emerges as a lifesaver, a space for education, socialization, and therapy, although not always equipped for the current reality that the world is going through. The classroom gives way to the therapy room, within the school itself, where students learn to deal with the new reality. Design emerges as an enabling tool to create suitable spaces for this new learning process. We intend to analyze existing cases, using a mixed theoretical, qualitative, and quantitative methodology, based on case study, survey and interviews, with the aim to assess the real potential of these therapy rooms in schools, their usability, and benefits for target audience. This article suggests a reflection on a concept of social design, for all, which may amaze everyone from the observational point of view, of sensoriocognitive comfort, in their contemplation and intellection in the hypothetical, revitalizing and multisensory ergonomic enjoyment of its beauty and personal and collective well-being. It is in this sense that we will make a journey through the “vital” importance that design represents for the human being as an integrating factor in society, in a conceptual perspective for the user, for his senses and multisensory, in the contexts and somatosensory and synesthetic situations, focusing on sensory and multisensory perception, where space, equipment, colour, and feeling take place.
Keywords: Design, Social Equity, Therapy rooms, Welfare
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