This thesis addresses the challenges of mental health distress and creative blocks experienced by art and design students. Through an exploration of existing literature and precedents in mental health resources and design, the project seeks to provide accessible and diverse strategies. The research methodology involves interviews, surveys, and experiments to uncover effective stress-relieving practices. The central question driving the thesis is 

“How might we create resources for art and design students to relieve stress, prevent creativity blocks, and gain inspiration?”
The resulting toolbox comprises three components: an interactive workbook, a digital calendar and goal planner, and a creative card game. This toolbox aspires to be a catalyst for positive change, promoting a resource-based approach to mental well-being and encouraging a variety of practices for creative minds. The hope is that the toolbox becomes a valuable resource for a broad audience seeking mindfulness and resilience in their creative pursuits.

I feel passionate about creating projects that hold possibilities and create influence beyond my personal sphere, along with spreading positivity and appreciation for living in the moment and feeling inner security. Design gives me an opportunity to be a resource for others by promoting healthy habits and mindsets through limitless mediums, like publications, interactive websites, and poetry.
The Designer's Distraction: An Interactive Workbook to Refresh Your Creative Mind
In creating my thesis, I want to create a series of resources for art and design students who need guidance in relieving stress, preventing creativity blocks, and gaining inspiration. For my first investigation into creating this toolbox, I started my research into guided sketchbooks and journals. Working on paper can be refreshing for students who use technology often, so I wanted to take advantage of the physical aspects of the medium and create original ideas. Mental health resources may guide their users through several guided practices, and the methods that I decided to focus on in my workbook are mindful affirmation practices juxtaposed with mindless art activities.
The Designer's Direction: Interactive Digital Calendar and Guided Goal Planner
My second investigation, The Designer’s Direction, continues to solve my thesis research question, how might we create resources for art and design students to relieve stress, prevent creativity blocks, and gain inspiration? The Designer’s Direction is an interactive digital calendar with all of the needed inclusions to support designers in their school or career work; The calendar includes methods for planning your schedule using time-blocking techniques, guided steps on setting your immediate and long-term goals, and a proposed AI-generated affirmation technology that presents an appropriate image-quote combination to inspire you throughout your day. The digital planner includes an easily understandable hierarchy that helps users to prioritize and manage their responsibilities
throughout the day. Also, the goal-planning guided steps include thought-provoking prompts that invite the users to think big and think beyond their current daily norms. Additionally, the idealized AI-technology proposes to ask a series of questions to find the user’s most needed affirmation, and presents an eye catching mantra to inspire your decisions throughout the day. There were a few limitations that stunted my ability to create this final product, as a lot of the technology that I was looking to use in this design was beyond my circle of expertise. In the future, I hope to partner with a code professional to help me create this final product.
The Designer's Approach: A Creative Card Game to Practice your Design Skills
For my final investigation, I decided to design a card and board game to provide designers with a stress-free outlet to practice their creative skills and feel inspired to create designs that think outside the box. This game includes three decks of cards: a subject deck, an elements and principles deck, and an artist inspiration deck. The player spins a double-wheel that prompts them to pick two or more cards from the various decks and to create something that combines the elements of your chosen cards. The game does not limit the user in its medium use, and inspires the players to choose different medias that you are comfortable with and that you would like to learn more about. The purpose of this game is to inspire designers with ideas and help them to discover new ideas and design practices.


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