Argus is introducing principles of trauma informed design in our residential spaces. Trauma informed design promotes a sense of safety and calm for young people who have experienced trauma associated with unsafe, abusive, neglectful or otherwise untenable life experiences. The work has begun at our 740 William Street location, where we are starting to implement this targeted approach to design by way of colour, natural and LED day lighting, flooring, furniture placement and plants in an effort to promote mental and physical well being.
The design upgrades have been very modest and low-cost, and are often as simple as a change in colour. For example, the walls of the residence have gone from a deep burgundy to cool, calming colours such as mint and lavender. There have been plants added throughout the residence to bring in touches of nature. The residence has also been changing out furniture with squared edges for furniture with rounded edges, almost all of which has been donated or purchased second hand. While these changes have been very minimal in terms of extremity and cost, they have already created noticeable changes in the space’s atmosphere; they produce a calming, safe feeling that cater to the physical, mental, emotional, and social needs of many of the youth who walk though Argus’ doors.