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  • Writer's pictureChristine Cowart

The first of its kind: Introducing Boston Architecture College TiD Course!

Updated: Nov 26, 2023


We are teaming up with

to offer the first college course of its kind this Spring!

The groundbreaking Trauma-informed Design course will be offered through the Design for Human Health Masters Program, and provide students with an understanding of the Trauma-informed Design approach, and why it's imperative for health-oriented design.



The 8-week course will utilize a muti-media approach to learning, and provide students the opportunity to apply their learning through discussions, field observation, research, and design applications. The course will culminate in a 7,500 square foot final design project, including full design and four design boards. Students will be asked to choose a site, research the population to be served, and justify their design choices using the TiD principles learned in this course.

Participating students will:

  • Become aware of emerging trauma-informed design (TiD) frameworks and how TiD is applying the principles of trauma-informed care through design. This will include seeing TiD as design for health with an equity lens, and explore how to anticipate potential triggers and implement design features and elements that mitigate stress through case-study precedents;

  • Learn about the wide range of applications for trauma-informed design;

  • Gain experience applying the trauma-informed design approach to a theoretical design project;

  • Develop an understanding of the importance of population research and participatory design, and why the design process and the language used by designers matters;

  • Learn about adverse childhood experiences, adverse community experiences, and the full scope of trauma, including historical, structural, and collective trauma, and how experiencing inequities can have the same negative impact on their long-term health outcomes as other traumas;

  • Be able to identify the biological responses that can occur in the human body because of trauma and toxic stress levels, and the wider possible health impacts of trauma on individuals, communities, and beyond; and

  • Become familiar with the framework for trauma-informed care, based in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) six key principles of a trauma-informed approach.

Jam-packed with information and resources,

you'll want to reserve your spot in this course today!

The course is open to BAC graduate and undergraduate students, BAC alumni,

and industry professionals seeking a continuing education opportunity.



Janet E. Roche, MDS CAPS, is a leader in designing for health and wellness. She received her Masters in Design for Human Health within the Masters of Design Studies program at the Boston Architectural College (BAC). Immediately following graduation she has been an adjunct BAC instructor teaching: Environmental Health, Human Conditions + Design, and Biophilia. She mentors BAC students in a various work-study programs to examine, among other things, health determinants with in the built environment.

Janet is also currently the Chair for the Alumni Council for the BAC. With a background with a B.S. in Social Work from Boston University, her Certificate of Business and Management from Harvard University Extension School, and nearly two decades of owning her own production company, she is now engaging her love of design, helping others, and business by owning her own company Janet Roche Designs, LLC. Her company believes that they can find real design solutions to the human condition.

In 2019, Janet launched her own podcast, Inclusive Designers, where she is a host, co-

producer, and writer. As she is a longtime advocate for dignity in design, IDP is a collaborative forum for designers to share creative ideas for different human conditions for inclusivity, equality, and diversity.

Christine Cowart, MA, CPT, is a dually certified trauma professional who has built a career in the human services field, focusing on criminal legal systems and family services policy. Her career includes working as a legislative analyst in two states, analyzing programs for the New York State Division of Parole, and serving as a contract and grant specialist for the Vermont Department for Children and Families, where she doubled as the co-chair for the Family Services Division’s racial equity workgroup.

She is currently employed as the policy manager for the Vermont Department of Corrections, where she is helping to implement a Department-wide trauma-informed approach and serves on the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion workgroup.

In her spare time, Christine volunteers in a variety of capacities in her community. She is

married, and an adoptive mother of two children with traumatic backgrounds. Her personal

and professional experiences , led her to develop an in-depth understanding of trauma, its

possible effects, and what can be done to change the story. Committed to researching and

addressing this phenomenon as a specialty, and driven to share this information with the

general public, Christine founded Cowart Trauma Informed Partnership, and dedicates much of her time helping individuals and organizations implement trauma-informed practices.

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