When Denver-based architecture studio Shopworks chooses to design with wood for its affordable and community projects, the reasoning goes far beyond aesthetics. Along with its correlation to biophilic health benefits, wood is one of the materials of choice recommended by the firm when designing to the principles of trauma-informed design (TID). TID is a relatively new architectural movement and Shopworks is at its forefront, making it a linchpin of its practice. In fact, the firm has literally written the manual on the topic, along with several other helpful resources to help expand the impact of TID in communities around the country.
Trauma-informed design, according to the TID Society, an organization that focuses on turning trauma science into design practice, is about integrating the principles of trauma-informed care, as originally established by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and continually evolving, into design. The goal is to create physical spaces that promote safety, well-being, and healing.