Rider University Creates ‘Zen Den’ to Foster Student Health and Wellness, published in Spaces4Learning

Rider University’s student health and wellness space, the ‘Zen Den’, a Spiezle project spearheaded by Principal John F. Wright and Associate Principal Jill DiClementi, is highlighted in an article published on March, 24, 2023 in Spaces4Learning. The column highlights the unique design elements Spiezle implemented to simulate relaxation and mental wellness, the impact the space will have on the student body, and how the space can be used as a blueprint for other schools in developing their own mental wellness spaces for students.

Spiezle used a wide variety of design elements to create a calming and relaxing environment to appeal to the students’ needs. The various types of furniture allow the room to be organized into different spaces and provide different ways to interact within the environment. Bean bag chairs, soft lounge seating, and a built-in alcove lounge seat, help create a comforting and relaxing atmosphere while hanging chairs provide a soothing sensory experience through movement. Spiezle also added other calming sensory features, including hexagon-shaped touch lights and finishes that emulate the natural environment through color, texture, and pattern.

By combining all these initiatives, students have multiple ways to better care for their well-being. The Zen Den’s creation serves as a potential model for other schools to use in the development of spaces that better serve the needs of the student community. When creating spaces that benefit students’ mental and physical health, everyone wins.

“College counseling centers will be unable to meet the increasing demand for mental health services through individual therapy alone—but we can create a campus ethos that talks about and supports students and their needs across campus,” said Dr. Leanna Fenneberg at Rider University.

To read the story in full, click here.

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