Shelter for a Lost Soul
Mian Cai / China
Describe a marginalized person you choose.
The person’s major condition you are trying to deal with.
1. Suffering from depression, one of SPMI (Serious and persistent Mental Illness)
2. Feeling lost, restless and trapped in the mind, no energy to step out, and no hope for the future.
3. Distressing, and lack of safety feeling in public, desperately seeking for a shelter to hide from attention and rest alone without disguise
Describe the design intent for the chosen person.
1. To give a try to understand and care the depressed person in an unsympathetic way, therefore the person can talk about depression without stigma and then get appropriate help.
2. To show a hope that the energy can be found back, for instance, the chosen person recalls the feeling of getting energy back when watching the sea.
3. To build a shelter where the person can rest alone with safety feeling in public, find peace of mind and reduce distress.
4. To create a chance for the person to see the world from new perspective, and look at things in a different way.
Inside One Depressed Mind
“Mental health issues are a serious concern, and an area that is enormously under recognized”, according to
the office of UNDP , and depression is one of the most diagnosed mental health diseases, however only a
faction of people suffering from depression receive appropriate help they need, many of them avoid or delay
treatment due to fear of prejudice and discrimination. It’s important to raise awareness ,build understanding
and reduce stigma of depression(Source: WHO ).
The main theme of the design is a soul shelter for the one suffering from depression. The intent of the design
is not only to satisfy the great needs of a healing space for the depressed person lack of safety, lost and
restless in mind, but also to open up dialogue associated with the disabling condition that depression is still
vastly under-recognized and under-treated.
The concept is to design a new prototype of space by combining two existing space prototypes from the
surrounding physical living environment, stairs and slope roof, where the person feels like taking a rest and
having safety feeling. The design development is mostly inspired and influenced by responding to the soul
level needs of the depressed person. First, as we know human can receive healing energy from nature,
that’s why the shelter opening toward the sea, because the depressed person recalls the feeling of receiving
the energy when watching the sea. Second, the idea that rotating the panels to a certain angle blocks the
sight from outside and creates the inner space of the shelter where the person can rest alone and meanwhile
that’s how the light gets in.Third, the modular scale based on the study of human behavior, makes the space
in the shelter fitting for the depressed person. Last but not the least, the progression of perspectives on
higher steps in the shelter provide an opportunity and remind of the depressed person constantly looking at
things in a different way.
The material of the shelter is made of wood, which is environmental friendly, warm feeling, recycle and easy
to move and install. The method of installation uses common wood joints to build the shelter. The shelter
consists of three parts, the triangle frames using timber can be prefabricated , the stairs and the panels using
plywood can be installed on site.
The shelter is a lighthouse of hope for the lost soul inside the depressed mind, where it can find peace and
receive energy to carry on the journey of life with vitality.