Trauma bonds : physical manifestations of healing




Gillmar, Chloe Christina

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Trauma Bonds: Physical Manifestations of Healing is a speculative design project that uses traditional and experimental design methods to address addiction-related trauma. By using introspective research methods, I position a younger version of myself as “client” to tackle problems that arose due to my parent’s long-term struggle with substance use disorder (SUD). Through ideation and prototyping, I design objects that respond to the material effects of addiction that I faced as a child and teenager, including cigarette smoke, a lack of resources, and the prevalence of theft. However, these objects serve many purposes beyond solving these problems, including emotional validation, externalizing progress made in processing trauma, and providing a foundation for the next steps in the continuous cycle of healing. This thesis details the similarities between the process of healing and the process of design, as well as providing an exciting glimpse into how design could be used as a tool for somatic therapy and working through trauma.



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