MDes Interior Design School of Design

Joy (Jue He)

I was once a more than ordinary office worker in a German chemical engineering company and then a housewife working 24 hours taking care of my child. I thought I might have used half of my life up, but I had not realized my dream. Therefore, 16 years after obtaining my bachelor’s degree, I crossed the world to pursue my dream of being a designer.

I was particularly interested in discovering the connections between people and how to benefit people’s well-being through space language. That’s me.

Play With Me – A Journey to the Self (Part I)
Play With Me – A Journey to the Self (Part II)
Play With Me – A Journey to The Self

Play With Me – A Journey to the Self (Part I)

Theoretic Study

“Playing is itself a therapy.”1

–       D. W. Winnicott
(7 April 1896 – 25 January 1971)
English Pediatrician and Psychoanalyst

1  Donald Woods Winnicott, Playing and Reality, (London: Routledge Classics, 1990), p.55.

Play With Me – A Journey to the Self (Part II)

Part II

My Own Experience in Planting
During my stage 2 elective course, Permaculture design, I started to grow vegetables in my garden in Glasgow, UK. Growing plants from a tiny, teeny seed is a very engaging experience for me. When I reflected on why I was enthusiastic about planting, I realised one day that my behaviours in caring for a small and weak plant are not really for the plant but for myself, and deep in my mind, it is always me needs to be cared. Planting is my playing.

An Assumption

I feel for people who love playing with something, there must be a reason for it. Based on my research and my own experiences, I have an assumption:

For a person who did not receive good enough parenting in childhood, could a planting experience offer a self-parenting chance to achieve a psychological goal inner ward?

An Experiment

To test the assumption, I designed an experiment. I invited five children between 7-8 years old to grow peas based on the daily tasks of reading the specified pages from the book Where the Wild Things Are. The tasks also include speaking to the seeds some words like “Stop it”, “I’ll eat you up”, and making voice records. The voice recordings were collected and transformed into a 3d visualisation software called Touchdesigner. The 3D result was used in the space design.

Play With Me – A Journey to The Self


“I have climbed the highest mountains, I have run through the fields, … But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…”
As the rock band U2 sang, I never thought my exploration of using space language to support people to achieve their self-awareness would lead me to research the field of paediatric psychology.

True. Childhood is our beginning. Like growing a plant from a seed, good-enough caring is essential for making it survive in a world which is too harsh when it is not ready. Although the world is not always gentle, we can still play.

Playing is a doing. Playing is our fighting. Let’s destroy! Let’s survive! Let the wild rumpus start!

This plant-themed space design explored whether D.W. Winnicott’s developmental psychological theory could be applied in an interactive interior design to offer a psychotherapy experience for the space users.

Through a playful planting experiment involving 5-8 years old children with their parents, I collected several voice recordings from the participants and used them to generate 3D form artefacts by 3D visualising language TouchDesigner. I further develop these 3D form artefacts into interactive space forms used in the interior.

The expected findings will be whether an interactive interior design could be effective in psychotherapy and to what extent or in what kind of ways the interior could affect the space users.

This project aims to study the cross-disciplinary area between interiors and psychology, to explore how and what interactions might exist between the interiors and humans.

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