Fellow host: Jules van der Meijs.
Dick van Gameren, Aart Oxenaar, Jan van Beek,Charlotte Boersma,
David van der Peijl, Jonne van Bunningen.
In the study of Architecture, students are confronted with high workload and substantial deadlines. In the weeks leading up to these deadlines students give in to stress, seemingly unbothered by the all-nighters, microwave meals and lack of relaxation. We are our own biggest fan and harshest critic. Yet, when it comes to wellbeing, a lot of students too easily seem neglectful. In the first years of my studies I already noticed a somewhat toxic study environment, escpecially during the weeks before a big deadline. The difficulty for design education in specific, is the fact that a design is never ‘finished’. It can always be further developed and finilized, which gives a never-ending mindset during a design process. Above that, there’s much of a competition culture visible at our faculty. If others pull all-nighters and spend way too much time on their projects, you should probably do the same, right?

The Stay Well symposium dove into the cause and effect of stress, and which steps can be taken by students affected by it. We have chosen to address the topic in the form of a symposium in order to highlight different aspects of the issue and give a stage to a variaty of perspectives. To achieve this, people from a multitude of fields and backgrounds have joined the discussion on the topic. And so, we were able to address questions as: What is the definition of a burn-out and how is it related to depression? What are the common pain points we see in design education or the field of Architecture and the Built Environment specifically? What steps can students take when dealing with stress and how can we prevent suffering from these problems?

Watch the Stay Well symposium here.

In addition to the symposium, I have written an article for pantheon// online to address the topic of student well-being, also mentioning my personal experience. This article can be read here.

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