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UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES

BS Architecture

Jarelle Gabriel F. Abario

Mental Health and the Arts:


A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories
in College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

College of Architecture
University of the Philippines Diliman

Date of Submission
March 2018

Research Proposal
Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

ABSTRACT

With all the recent news regarding the spread of mental health disorders in college

students, it is very alarming to know that there is only minimal effort to stop this stigma.

From a designer's perspective, there is a need to study more on how the working

environment of students affect their mood and behavior.

Ironically, studies show that artists are more prone to mental health disorders as

compared to other professionals. This is mainly due to the pressure of constantly

producing something without consideration of issues that arise from merely losing

motivation and inspiration. Therefore, students under art-related courses--particularly

Fine Arts and Architecture--demands better working environments to help them in their

creative process; and to lessen the events of creative block, anxiety, or depression.

This proposal aims to evaluate the overall environment of the UP College of

Architecture library and studio laboratory, and the UP College of Fine Arts

studios/workshops in order to determine which spatial and non-spatial factors

consciously and sub-consciously affect students’ mental health.


Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

CHAPTER I: Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study


Visual art, in many forms, plays a huge role in culture and society. It has the power
to translate stories and meaning into a physical form—but most importantly, it can be
used as a medium for promoting productivity, healing, and stress-relief. However, this
does not infer that artists are exempted or are made less vulnerable to different mental
health issues. In fact, this is what the study will be all about.
“Every work of art comes from a process of human action and behavioral
development,” (Chalmers, 1971, pp. 1-11). Every form of art has gone through a series
of research, development, and application. This creative process is subjective; for artists
come up with different approaches and methodologies in creating art. Individuals who
are in a setting where there are opportunities of creating and/or responding to artworks
requires attention—for possible phenomena in that setting may cause effects that might
affect everyone involved (Congdon K. & Congdon D., 1986).
In the midst of this process, artists may face issues such as lack of motivation or
inspiration. The most common term to define this phenomena is “creative block;” which
are mental barriers that temporarily forbids artists to access their internal creativity
(“Creative Blocks,” n.d.). This is more alarming for students, not just for Fine Arts
majors, but also for other courses such as Architecture—due to the demand to come up
with deliverables in a restricted space and limited amount of time. Due to the pressure
brought about by these key factors, if worsened and not treated, this may result to
anxiety, depression, and/or more complex mental disorders such as schizophrenia.
The role of educational institutions does not stop in rendering knowledge to
students; but also help them grow in whatever field of study they are taking in.
Therefore, spaces such as libraries and studio laboratories demand more design
considerations for this is where students would spend most of their time in doing
academic tasks.
Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

CHAPTER 2: Problem Setting

2.1 Rationale
This study’s main benefactors are:
Designers. This study aims to help professionals/student-professionals in both
the Architecture and Interior Design fields in analyzing how certain design
elements work and how they can manipulate these in creating more effective
library and studio designs.
Architecture and Fine Arts Majors. As the main subjects for this research,
this study will benefit Architecture and Fine Arts majors in determining how
the design of their libraries and studio laboratories affects their mental health.
General Public. This study aims to raise awareness in the minds of the public
that arts majors are more prone to mental health illnesses and that they need
more design considerations for their workstations.

2.2 Statement of the Problem


2.2.1 Main Problem
This research mainly aims to answer the following problem:
How do architectural elements and environmental factors of libraries and studio
laboratories develop or deteriorate the mental health status of students under art-
related courses in the University of the Philippines Diliman?
2.2.2 Sub Problems
2.2.2.1 How does the environment of the UP College of Architecture library
enhance students’ creativity and motivation?
2.2.2.2 How well does the environment of the studio laboratories in both
College of Architecture and Fine Arts help in enhancing creativity and
motivation in students?
Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

2.3 Goal of the Study


The main goal of this study is to identify what specific architectural elements and
controllable environmental factors affect students’ creative process and mental health
status, to then aid in the architectural design considerations of future educational facility
projects—particularly libraries and studio laboratories.

2.4 Objectives
2.4.1 To discuss and understand how libraries and studio laboratories develop or
deteriorate the mental health status of Fine Arts and Architecture majors through
the following factors:

a. verbal

b. non-verbal responses

c. frequency of visit on the said spaces

d. number of hours spent in the said spaces

2.4.2 To trace and evaluate the link between the physical environment of the said
spaces and the development or deterioration of the mental health status of the
students

2.5 Significance of the Study

Raising awareness. This study aims to raise awareness on the current mental
health status of Fine Arts and Architecture majors through evaluating their overall
experience while staying in the library and studio laboratories within their colleges:
whether these spaces enhance their creativity and motivation; or the exact opposite.
Emphasis on design considerations. This study will help further understand the
spatial and non-spatial factors that consciously and sub-consciously affect the mood
and behavior of the users. In this way, there will be a better understanding on how
libraries and studio laboratories designs be able to maximize its capability to rather
enhance the mood and creativity of students—through the application of
psychoanalysis.
Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

2.6 Scope and Limitations


2.6.1 This study is only limited to the assessment of the UP College of
Architecture library and studio laboratory, and the UP College of Fine Arts
studios/workshops.
2.6.1 This study’s proponents is limited to Fine Arts and Architecture majors in
the University of the Philippines Diliman.

2.7 Assumptions
2.7.1 It is assumed that there is poor ventilation and air quality, and acoustics in
the UP College of Architecture studio laboratory based on mere on site
observations. Therefore, it is also assumed that the openness of this space due to
high ceiling height, large space area, and the fact that it doesn’t have means of
enclosures have significant effects on the students’ performance.
2.7.2 Due to the fact that the UP College of Fine Arts building is old, it is assumed
that there is also poor air quality and acoustics in the studios.

2.8 Hypothesis
The key architectural elements and environmental factors assumed in the
evaluation of the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts libraries and studio
laboratories contributes to the deterioration of the mental health status of students.

2.9 Definition of Terms


2.9.1 Acoustics
Acoustics is an element of architecture and/or interior design that deals with
controlling the transmission of sound
2.9.2. Architectural Determinism
Architectural Determinism is a theory which states that the physical environment
suggests certain feelings or behavior
2.9.3 Anxiety
Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

Anxiety is a feeling of extreme tension and/or panic that arises from worried
thoughts, which if worsened can lead to a serious mental health disorder
2.9.4 Creative Block
Creative Block pertains to an experience of lacking ideas and/or failure of
translating an idea to a creative piece
2.9.5 Depression
Depression is a mental disorder that is often characterized by feelings of extreme
sadness, emptiness, pessimism, and sudden ignorance to hobbies or interests
2.9.6 Functionalism
Functionalism is an architectural theory that pertains to Sullivan's axiom: "form
follows function." It states that the users must primarily experience the
established function of a space before looking at the aesthetics
2.9.7 Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a theory which states that there are many factors that causes
great effects on an individual's behavior and way of thinking without being aware
of it
2.9.8 Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder often characterized by symptoms of
hallucinations, depression, and bipolarism

2.10 Glossary of Terms


2.10.1 Acoustics
Acoustics is an element of architecture and/or interior design that deals with
controlling the transmission of sound (Found in pages: 10,13)
2.10.2. Architectural Determinism
Architectural Determinism is a theory which states that the physical environment
suggests certain feelings or behavior (Found in pages: 13, 15)
2.10.3 Anxiety
Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

Anxiety is a feeling of extreme tension and/or panic that arises from worried
thoughts, which if worsened can lead to a serious mental health disorder (Found
in pages: 4, 5)
2.10.4 Creative Block
Creative Block pertains to an experience of lacking ideas and/or failure of
translating an idea to a creative piece (Found in pages: 4, 5)
2.10.5 Depression
Depression is a mental disorder that is often characterized by feelings of extreme
sadness, emptiness, pessimism, and sudden ignorance to hobbies or interests
(Found in pages: 4, 5, 11, 12)
2.10.6 Functionalism
Functionalism is an architectural theory that pertains to Sullivan's axiom: "form
follows function." It states that the users must primarily experience the
established function of a space before looking at the aesthetics (Found in pages:
14, 15, 16, 17, 18)
2.10.7 Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a theory which states that there are many factors that causes
great effects on an individual's behavior and way of thinking without being aware
of it (Found in pages: 7, 15, 16)
2.10.8 Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder often characterized by symptoms of
hallucinations, depression, and bipolarism (Found in pages: 5, 11)
Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

CHAPTER 3: Review of Related Literature

3.1 The Impact of School Environments: A literature review, Higgins S., Hall E., Wall,
K., Woolner, P., McCaughey, C., www.researchgate.net, 2005

Higgins et. al., studied the effects of environmental elements such as temperature
and air quality, acoustics, lighting, and color in students’ performance and health to
provide more effective learning environments for Britain’s schools. They found that
ventilation and air quality is indeed the most important key elements for maximum
student performance. However, ventilation per se in educational establishments are
found to be more emphasized as compared to air quality. Poor air quality may cause
air-related health problems for both students, faculty, and staff. Improving it resulted to
lessened absence (Rosen, Richardson, 1999).
This study also found that daylighting is the most beneficial due to its biological
effects. However, this does not suggest that daylight be the mere source of light for
educational facilities. A related study found that combining both direct and artificial
lighting through adaptive modification results to good overall lighting (Barnitt, 2003).
It is also found that color is one of the understudied elements of the physical
environment. Color greatly affects mood and productivity. Some related studies show
that children find the colors of their classroom ‘uninviting and boring,’ (Maxwell,
2000).

3.2 Common Mental Health Problems and Treatments experienced by College


Students in Metro Manila, Pineda M. and Alonso-Balmonte J., The Bedan Journal of
Psychology 2016 | Volume II, 2016

Pineda and Alonso-Balmonte (2016) conducted a study on what specific mental


health disorders are the most common in college students residing in Metro Manila.
They selected 10 certified psychologists and/or psychiatrists who are directly linked in
mental institutions in Metro Manila, Philippines. They have gathered their data from
classification Level 2 hospitals located in Mandaluyong, Makati, and Manila. All
information gathered are from medical records of the doctors aided with an interview
questionnaire.
The following table shows the results from the 50 patient records gathered:
Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

Illness Frequency Percentage


Schizophrenia 26 52%
Bipolarism 8 16%
Intellectual Disability 5 10%
Substance Abuse 5 10%
Depression 4 8%
Hypochondria 2 4%
,
The results show that schizophrenia cases are the highest. According to National
Alliance on Mental Illness, it is a mental health condition that is primarily characterized
by symptoms of schizophrenia—such as hallucinations, delusions, disorganized
thinking, depression, and manic behavior (“Schizoaffective Disorder,” n.d.). Although
depression is a symptom of this specific disorder, it is still a separate case in the study.
Students diagnosed with depression are significantly few in comparison to the
other 4 disorders recorded with most frequency. According to this study, the reason
behind this is that not all Filipinos accept the fact that depression is indeed a disorder.

3.3 Manic-Depressive Illness and Creativity, Jamison K., Scientific American Inc.,
1995
According to Jamison (1997), “Major depression in both unipolar and bipolar
disorders manifests itself through apathy, lethargy, hopelessness, sleep disturbances,
slowed physical movements and thinking, impaired memory and concentration, and a
loss of pleasure in typically enjoyable events.”
In this study, Jamison selected 47 known British writers and visual artists. The
results show that 38% of the proponents had been treated for a mood disorder; and 75%
of those treated have gone through required medication and hospitalization, or both.

3.4 Architects and Mental Health, Karklins L. and Mendoza J., NSW Architects
Registration Board, 2016
This study mainly focuses on the triggers and risk factors of mental illness in the
architecture field (both in the academe and in practice). Some of the triggers that were
presented were: organizational injustice, project-induced stress, poor interpersonal
relationships, long work hours, and lack of creativity. These can be both applied to
professionals and students.
Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

Karklins and Mendoza also stressed a finding of a recent study, which states that
students taking up arts and humanities and design are more likely to experience mental
health issues. A related study by the Graduate Architecture, Landscape, and Design
Student Union (GALDSU), University of Toronto, show that many architecture majors
have irregular eating habits and barely engages in physical activities. (GALDSU, 2013)
Though this may not apply to all cases, the study recognizes the fact that the “studio
culture” may cause problems due to pressure to put it atop all else.

3.5 Physical Environments Conducive To Creativity and Collaboration within the


Work Environment, Bryant M., OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2012
This study was conducted to identify the environmental factors that affect the
motivation and/or creativity in 5 different creative service providers in Columbus, Ohio.
Activities 1 and 2 are both participatory, followed by a questionnaire, and lastly being
a sort of tour to let the participants observe through sketches and photos; each taking
an average of 30 minutes. The results show that the participants find that a layered
lighting arrangement, higher ceiling height, open views to other participants, an
isolating space, vibrant colors, and a flexible furniture layout are the key elements of
an effective working environment.
Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

CHAPTER 4: Theoretical Framework

4.1 Theories Relevant to the Problem

4.1.1 Architectural Determinism

Architectural determinism was first coined in a paper entitled: “Social theory in


Architectural Design” by Maurice Broady. This theory states that the building
environment dictates the behavior and attitudes of the users (Marmot, 2002). As a
concept, this can be manifested through the application of different studies that
prove how environmental elements affect a user’s way of thinking. The building
environment basically consists of: lighting, acoustics, ventilation and air quality,
and color.

This theory emphasizes the purpose of design: to influence a user’s behavior


through suggesting ‘scripts’ formulated by the designer to allow the user to
function the way he/she is intended to as dictated by the specific function of the
space. (Buchanan, 1985).

According to Porteous (1977), determinism can be seen from 2 different


perspectives: possibilism and probabilism. Possibilism is viewing the physical
environment as a platform from which an individual can be offered with different
opportunities. Probabilism, on the other hand, suggests that, the decisions of an
individual may be discovered but never predicted.

The idea of this theory is to link the intents of the designer/s and the effects of
these intents translated into physical elements. (Lockton, 2012). If applied in the
right manner, this theory can be the treated as the core principle in designing
behavior-changing spaces.

4.1.2 Functionalism

The theory of Structural Functionalism was proposed by an English sociologist,


Herbert Spencer and an American sociologist, Robert Merton which views the
totality of the society as complicated and its components interconnected with each
other in a manner that out of the complexity of the society’s system, its
components still collaborate together to uphold stability and solitude (Moffit).
Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

These social institutions include family, religion, education, economy and many
others. Encompassing all of these factors, each of them constitute to the
significance of creating the whole society itself while every factor affects one
another as well inside (Mooney, et.al. 2007).

Weaving the value of the social elements, this theory stated that our society is
ushered by these social structures that is suggestively deemed to create an impact
in our social behaviors and the way we present it. With this, two terms have been
coined to define their effects. An element is marked as functional if it improves or
maintains social stability; whereas an element is dysfunctional if it causes the
deviation from the normal standards of attaining a stability.

According to Merton, there are also two types of functions; one is manifest and
the other is latent. Manifest functions lies above the surface wherein the results
and motivations are intentional and easily seen whereas the latent functions
embody a concealed consequence that are also, unintentional.

Figure 1.1 Researcher’s Model of Theory of Structural Functionalism


Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

4.1.3 Psychoanalysis

The Theory of Psychoanalysis was coined by Sigmund Freud, the father of


Psychoanalysis. This theory revolves around the concept that there are many
factors that affect an individual’s attitude and behavior in an unconscious manner.
(Beystehner, n.d.). Freud used an illustration of an iceberg to describe this
phenomenon: the tip being the ‘conscious mind’ and the sinking part, which is
relatively larger in size, represents the ‘unconscious mind.’ These factors often
cause sadness, mood disorders, or disturbances in self-esteem. (American
Psychoanalytic Association, 1998).

Psychoanalysis is both a theory and a form of therapy. As a therapy, this works


well for people suffering from different mental illnesses.

4.2 Theoretical Framework

Figure 1.3 Researcher’s Theoretical Framework Model

The researcher chose three theories: two of which are directly linked to design, and
another that is purely psychological. Since the study aims to analyze what factors or
Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

elements develop or deteriorate the mental health status of students within the scope of
study, it was necessary to bridge psychology and design.
Threading how the Architectural Determinism stated that the environment
influences the corresponding behavior of the people that resides in a certain
architectural space, Functionalism is interconnected with this theory in a manner that
social structures specifically of education which is used in this study undergirds the
significance of facilities in the life of a student.
According to Functionalism, these social structures influences social behaviors
from which the “functionality” and the “dysfunctionality” of the facilities will be
evaluated with which further details on how this will be done will be discussed in the
conceptual framework. These social behaviors are then, categorized as manifested -
intentional and seen and latent - unseen and unintentional. As the study progresses, the
researcher will assess how these meanings connect to the significance and mechanism
of Structural Functionalism in the study.
After emphasizing the significance of architectural designs in how it shapes the
behavior of the people that utilizes these spaces, the researcher will now tackle the
response side of the people that occupies these places. Thus, the importance of the
Theory of Pyschoanalysis by Sigmond Freud will be tackled. Delving through the deep-
seated psyche of the study, this theory is connected to the other two theories in a way
that it will help in further analyzing the ‘unconscious factors’ present in a specific space
that affects the behavior and attitudes of the users.

4.3 Conceptual Framework


According to Griffin (1966), Functionalism “humanizes architecture and gives
it meaning.” In his research entitled “A Study of Functionalist Theories in
Architecture,” he studied how functionalism corresponds to the need of man to
experience the sole purpose of the buildings first, before one could ever appreciate the
beauty of the design himself or herself.
The basic element before designing a function for a certain thing is the value
of space, which was often taken for granted. Due to this, the significance of space to
uphold functionalism creates a further warning for the architects and designers leaving
many works in the agony of masterpiece tragedy. Vincent Scully agreed with this as he
Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

clarifies how space should be the root of the concept, the design of the whole building.
He highlighted how spaces creates significant meanings in rendering to needs of man;
that spaces should be the finish line, and not just an unintentional margin or allowance
of the total design. Sewing his argument together, Scully expressed that the most
notable orchestration that architecture could administer is the existence of human
psyche inside which are the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of humanity.
Basing all these things in the architectural and design perspectives, Louis Sullivan,
an architect and also recognized as the father of modernism and skyscrapers was often
connected with the idea, “form follows function.” He remarked how architectural
designs should prioritize the needs of man first before creating a grand design through
these art forms. These needs thus, constitute to what is called the tripod of human needs.
Functionalism perceives beyond what the eyes can see, and eliminates all forms of
physical structures that are alienated with function. Griffin also reiterated that no
functionalists will construct monumental infrastructures just for the sake of facade if
the people living inside will be at risk. This theory responds to the reality that since
people embodies diverse set of requirements in all aspects of living, designing
architecture in a way that would aid in alleviating his or her stress to adjust will be
recognized as a big milestone. (A. Van Eyck)
According to Ponti, form is mean to proceed function. Form is described as not
bound to be disconnected from function most especially if the principle grounds it in
the concepts of essentiality and truth. A building can only stand if it is rooted in the
groundworks of rendering to the needs of people, the truthfulness of the purpose and
the fulfillment of these goals (Griffin, 1966).
Maximizing the factors stated by the theory of Functionalism, one of the social
structure that influences social behaviors which will be most vital in the study is the
education. Since the researcher will study the development or deterioration that studios
for Fine Arts major and libraries for Architecture students in University of the
Philippines Diliman render, these places are now bound to be analyzed as either
“functional” or “dysfunctional” for these students.
In order to execute this, the researcher will now look at the manifest and latent
meanings that these students communicate. Connecting to the statement of the theory,
Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

the researcher will observe how these spaces inside these places are utilized by the
students; the way they move and respond to the places they are in. The researcher will
assess how these set of places engage or disengage the learning motivation of the
students by analyzing through the seen and intentional or the unseen and unintentional
verbal and nonverbal expressions they make.
Hence, since the theory wires the essence of functionalism in fulfilling the needs
of man, the researcher will heavily look into this by analyzing whether the library and
the studios satisfy the intellectual and emotional needs of the students (the spiritual
needs will not be included in the study).
Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

CHAPTER 5: Research Methodology

5.1 Overview

This study is opt to adopt a case study, experimental, and survey approach. Case
studies will help the research to analyze what specific phenomena has worked, what
issues has been faced and how to improve on the overall data. It would be necessary to
analyze different cases for the researcher to be able to come up with a more generalized
conclusion. To aid in the data gathering of the technical areas of the research, it would
also be necessary to make use of the experimental method in which the researcher
would manipulate and control different variables; and survey method to accurately
gather the information needed by seeing through different perspectives.

5.2 Research Methods

Case Studies. This will be done through analyzing some already existing data
from past researches to be compared to the data that will be gathered through
experimental and survey methods.
Experimental. By being able to manipulate a certain variable and control
other variables; in order to gather data through the means of analyzing one effect at a
time.
Surveys. Surveys will be done through questionnaires that aims to target
answers from the main users of the said spaces, and be able to compare them with the
data gathered through the experimental method.
Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

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A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

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Mental Health and the Arts:
A Spatial Analysis of Libraries and Studio Laboratories in
the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts in
University of the Philippines Diliman

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