Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Don Carr

Second Advisor

Isabel Prochner


Adolescents;Bio-design;Gutta Percha;Mental stress;Natural elements


Mental stress is particularly prevalent among adolescents between the ages of 13-19, and long-term stress can lead to more serious problems such as anxiety and depression. The link between nature and adolescent health has long been a subject of interest. This research study is an exploration related to the theme “mental health protection,” exploring how a design intervention could inject natural elements into the interior spaces where stressful adolescents spend their time. This research paper reviews previous literature regarding mental health and adolescents, expounds on the causes and effects of adolescents’ stress, how adolescents are exposed to the natural environment, and multiple correlations between natural factors and adolescents’ psychological well-being. Based on student feedback, this study proposes a strategy for a prototype design that makes use of gutta-percha, a kind of bio-material from Eucommia Ulmoides. In order to verify the reliability of the design, alternative yet similar structural material was used for assembly and testing. The result of my testing was positive. In addition, I was able to define a research gap that separates this work from previous scholarship. Through my work, I also proposed a speculative prospect of integrating plant-human interaction and biofeedback through plant bionics responses to stress.


Open Access



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