An Indian American industrial designer based in Brooklyn, New York has designed a collapsible chamber, which serves as a private space for people with PTSD that can cut them off from sensory overload when they need it.
Kartikaye Mittal, 32 is studying the alteration of sensory stimulus and its effects on psychological well-being in a bid to help people suffering from PTSD. He hopes for his work to be helpful in a meaningful way. He hopes sufferers to become independent in their situations.
After getting perspective and feedback from PTSD patients and doing his research designed a soundproof collapsible chamber called Reboot. Once deployed the private space can extend to have a depth of 4.5 feet. The outermost arch is 7.5 feet high. The space has a width of 5 feet.
Mittal told News India Times, “A lot of research goes into such a project. For Reboot, I went directly to the source that is PTSD patients. I wanted to understand their point of view in a stressful situation. I met a PTSD support group in NYC where they meet without their doctors. I found they feel vulnerable when experiencing symptoms in a public place.”
The arches are constructed using sound absorbing material and polycarbonate panels that allow reflected natural light inside the space.
The chamber is designed in a way that it can be pulled out from where it is attached to a wall. “A PTSD patient will lock themselves in a bathroom or a room when stressed. I designed the chamber to feel similar to it. A person can enter the space and outside noises and external stimuli will get blocked. I did not want them to feel claustrophobic so I added see through panels in the ceiling.”
According to the American Psychiatric Association, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury.
This widespread disorder affects approximately 3.5 percent of U.S. adults every year, and an estimated one in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime. Women are twice as likely as men to have PTSD, according to the American Psychiatric Association.
Mittal feels trauma is everywhere and in several people’s lives. He wants to do something for people where they live in a society where there is horrible news on the television every day. “And then once in a while, you meet a friend who is going through something similar and that traumatic experience comes closer to you because now there is someone who you know who went through that. So recently I’ve come across people as I’ve grown older who shared their life experiences that are traumatic. That is what inspired me really.”
A Masters in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute, NY , Mittal has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Applied Arts from College of Art, New Delhi. He wanted to design cars and motorbikes like every designer when he was young, he said. But as he grew older he wanted his work to serve a meaningful purpose in the world.
“It is not just about making products for rich people. You want your work to make a difference in the world. People come back from war and have so much suffering and trauma. People who have seen horrors happen. People who have undergone traumatic assaults whether physical or sexual. I want to help these people be independent in their recovery,” Mittal said.