Cloud Talk: Can Art And Design Heal?
Anxiety, burnout and stress are all too common in the workplace at the best of times. The coronavirus outbreak has only exacerbated these issues.
“There’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic will be the most psychologically toxic disaster in anyone’s lifetime,” George Everly, a professor who teaches disaster mental health and resilience at Johns Hopkins, told Forbes. “This pandemic is a disaster of uncertainty, and the greater the uncertainty surrounding a disaster, the greater the psychological casualties.”
With the pandemic still prominent in the majority of countries around the world, we speak to three Gen.T honourees about the therapeutic and healing power of art, music and design, and how we can harness it. Below are some key excerpts from our virtual event, Cloud Talk, moderated by Gen.T's China editor, Christine Chan.
Frank Chou, the founder of Frank Chou Design Studio, is renowned for his designs that balance aesthetic differences between the East and West. He says that any good designer should always be able to use their work to help people. “The logic behind creating a great product is always to help people solve problems.” Design isn’t just about creating pretty things, it’s about helping to solve social issues and educating the public", he said.
Iris Long, an art curator and artist renowned for her work combining technology and art, talked about the power of art as a form of healing—both for individuals and society as a whole. "Art therapy is a well recognised cure in Western countries," she said. "And no matter whether you're a professional painter or not, you can heal yourself through creating art."
Ishiwata Tanni, the co-founder of Shanghai Angel Autism Salon, a charity which helps autistic children, highlights the power of music as a form of therapy. We have a music-based education programme at the Shanghai Angel Autism Salon. We’ve been using the programme for 12 years now and have seen considerable and dramatic changes in the power of music to heal, he said. “Music is a practical and scientifically-approved way to help in the healing of mental-related issues.”