An interior and spatial design student from Edinburgh Napier is using her own experience and final year project to raise awareness of a condition that until recently had been described as an ‘invisible’ disorder.
Turriff Academy alumnus Keran Andrew, 21, has had misophonia – a condition in which certain sounds trigger emotional or physiological responses – since she was 12.
After years of going undiagnosed as a child, it was only recently that Keran began to better understand the condition and what she could do to help herself live with it day to day.
Her mother, Loreen, is also affected by the disease, but with little knowledge about it — and with virtually no publicly available support for those suffering from misophonia — Keran chose to hide the disease from her friends and peers.
As part of his final year project, Keran and his fellow interior and spatial design students are encouraged to choose a site and conceptually design a building that would benefit his community if developed.
His building design aims to educate people about misophonia and introduces a number of aspects that emphasize the design of supportive buildings for those affected by the disease, with an emphasis on indoor facilities and curved partitions that help dampen loud noises.
Its design also includes space for misophonia treatment, indoor and outdoor cafes, and an exhibition space that those affected by the disease can use to share their thoughts and feelings about the disease with a wider audience. living with misophonia.
Her building plans, designs and 3D model, which she painstakingly built by hand, can be viewed this week at Edinburgh Napier’s annual degree exhibition, In Full Bloom, at its Merchiston campus.
Although just conceptual at this point, Keran hopes his project will shine a light on the importance of sound design needed to support those affected by the disease.
Commenting, Keran said, “There is still not much said or known about misophonia and what can be done to help it.
“My mother is affected by it and obviously I am too, but we have just learned some things ourselves that help us to live as normal a life as possible, despite this condition which can be quite difficult to manage.
“I’ve always been a little embarrassed to talk to people about the disease and I think it really comes down to there not being enough information about it.
“Would people think I would make it up?
“That’s really why I chose the condition – and my experiences with it – as the key topic for my end-of-year project.
“I first wanted to help educate people about misophonia and what it is, and also highlight some of the key building design features that builders, builders and architects might think about when designing their own buildings.
“If more people knew about the conditions and more buildings were designed to support those who suffer from them, then it would be a lot easier to live with.
“My college classmates now know a lot about the condition from my work, so if it even helps any of them understand why they feel the way they do when they hear certain noises, it is really worth it.
“The more people who know about misophonia and what it is, the better.”