Anthrozoology Center: Healing Through Animal-Assisted Therapy
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Anthrozoology is defined as the interdisciplinary study of the interaction between humans and other animals. This thesis involves animal-human relationships and the ways that animals can improve the mental, physical, and the spiritual health of people. I will be specifically researching the positive effects of the connections equines and canines have on humans and implementing designs that respond to that. Equine-assisted therapy has been a method for helping individuals with disabilities and trauma for centuries. To respond to the need for this type of therapy, I will design a facility that gives space for the occupants to bond and interact with the horses as well as encourage joy and wellbeing. Answering questions like “How can hippotherapy (horse-assisted therapy) and architectural design assimilate in a way that is inviting to a broad spectrum of people?” “How can we use architecture and nature to encourage the wellbeing of equines as well as people?” Using innovation, I am looking to blend the separation between the animal, and human spaces in a way that is inviting, aesthetic, and comfortable. A strong emphasis on framing the ambient outdoor space will be incorporated into the overall design. Connecting to nature is complimentary to connection with animals, and naturally helps us heal. Along with equine therapy, I will be including canine assisted international space within the program.