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    Designing for Healing, Dignity, & Joy: Iterating on the Trauma-Informed Design Framework

    Shopworks Architecture, Group 14 Engineering, University of Denver Center for Housing and Homelessness Research, and Bryn Mawr College

    Year: 2023

    In 2017, Shopworks Architecture was invited to attend a trauma-informed care training delivered by experts from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA, at The Delores Project Shelter and Apartments at Arroyo Village. SAMHSA is a national expert on trauma and offers extensive training and resources on trauma and trauma-informed approaches to care. Shopworks architects and designers werecaptivated by the presentation, specifically the research on trauma’s impact on the developing brains of children that suggested the built environment had a role to play in the health and healing of future occupants. Awareness of trauma-informed care set the Shopworks team on a path of inquiry toward “trauma-informed design” (TID). Now, after seven years of TID research and practice, interviews with 2000 end users, and discussions with stakeholders and collaborators around the world, our team has developed a TID conceptual framework for the creation of secure, connected, healt“hful physical spaces. Further, our team has committed to an ongoing process of reflection and learning, testing and iteration, and a ‘do no harm’ approach to the design of calming and restorative environments.

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