A Graduate architect from the University of Technology, Sydney has been awarded the 2016 Architects Medallion for a major work that combined the disciplines of art, mental health and architecture.

Chloe Yuen of UTS (pictured below right) received the award from the NSW Architects Registration Board (NSWARB)at a ceremony on Sunday 20 March, chosen ahead of the top 2015 graduates from the University of Newcastle, UNSW and Sydney University.

unspecified.jpgThe Architects Medallion has been awarded by the NSWARB since 1924 and is awarded annually to a graduate of the Masters of Architecture course from an approved school in New South Wales who has achieved distinction, both in a particular subject area at final level and generally throughout the last two years of the five year degree. 

The top graduate from each of the four schools of architecture are eligible for the Medallion, the 2016 honour going to UTS’s Yuen whose proposal for the delivery of mental health support services in New South Wales was found to be most impressive by the judges.

MillyBrigden, board member of the NSWARB said Yuen’s proposal, which combined art and mental health support in a mobile treatment train that could travel to the source of need, and integrate the intervals between stops as part of therapy, warranted global attention.

 “The depth of her research into treatment, therapy and rehabilitation; her creative thought process, and her ability to resolve the myriad of complex issues into a cost effective solution, is breathtaking,” Milly commented.

“She has combined three different types of mental health treatment facilities; including stationary clinics, intermediate structured care and ambulatory care in a model we would all applaud if we saw it elsewhere in the world.”Chloe-Yuen-train2.jpg

Yuen’s proposal borrows concept from art therapy taught by students from universities and colleges who are studying art, psychology and nursing; giving students experience. This unique ‘art school’ is also a treatment centre that runs on the existing Sydney rail system. Students would be picked up from their nearest station; allowing patients to be slowly integrated back in to society.

“The arts and mental health are two aspects of the mind that work in conjunction with each other”, says Chloe Yuen. “The arts have the ability to allow people with a mental illness to express their emotions. Art is the key for self-expression.”

Yuen was picked from an all-female shortlist of graduates which included Julie Hanna, University of Newcastle, Luen Samonte, University of NSW, and Tiffany Liew, University of Sydney.

She picked up the 2016 Architects Medallion as well as a monetary prize of $5,000.