Wellbeing depository: universtity setting - identifying wellbeing spaces in university setting

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Arkkitehtuurin maisteriohjelma
89 + 49
Universities face the challenge of addressing the wellbeing needs of their students, particularly in relation to mental health, the transitional period of adapting to adult independent life, and providing safe spaces to cope with stressors. This thesis explores the concept of creating wellbeing spaces within university settings to support students in these areas. The main goal of the thesis is to educate the reader and propose wellbeing spaces that would promote student wellbeing within the university campus. Drawing upon a literature review on student mental health and wellbeing, positive design, and positive psychology, and an international student survey result, this thesis aims to identify and suggest wellbeing spaces that can contribute to students’ subjective wellbeing within the university environment. The thesis presents a framework consisting of five categories of wellbeing spaces withdrawn from the literature review and survey: spaces for connecting with nature, spaces for nurturing bodily needs, spaces for social interaction and community building, spaces for coping and mindfulness, and spaces for engaging in meaningful activities. The culmination of this research effort resulted in the identification and presentation of 24 design solutions, each accompanied by detailed illustrations and descriptions that validate their efficacy in supporting student wellbeing. Moreover, this thesis recognizes the significance of spatial values such as comfort, accessibility, comprehensibility, and legibility and the importance of user participation in the design process. To promote user engagement and ownership, the thesis suggests three design approaches: participatory design, inclusive design, and site-specific design, which empower the university community to actively contribute to the creation and adaptation of these wellbeing spaces. Lastly, this thesis proposes three implementation strategies for these design solutions, highlighting their potential benefits. In conclusion, this thesis underscores the importance of wellbeing spaces within universities to support student wellbeing. As an educational resource, this work serves as a window of opportunity, offering a range of practical examples and ideas that can be further developed and tailored to suit specific university settings. Suggestions, improvements, and ideas are inspired by the spaces from Aalto University because the author of the thesis noticed the connection between the theory of wellbeing spaces and the existing spaces at Aalto University.
Arpiainen, Laura
Thesis advisor
Verma, Ira
wellbeing, studentwellbeing, wellbeing space, interior design, built environment and wellbeing, interior design, landscape architecture and wellbeing, wellbeing architecture
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