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Interior Architecture and Design senior reimagines therapy environment for veterans

Jul 2, 2021

Two years ago Andrew Murphy ‘21 (Interior Architecture and Design) read a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about a veteran with PTSD who suffered a panic attack while visiting the Milwaukee VA Hospital, which has narrow, dark hallways. The article inspired his MIAD Senior Exhibition project. 

Andrew’s senior project, “The Refuge Center,” reimagines a VA hospital as an environment with expansive windows, a memorial arch to honor veterans who served in each war, a coffee shop and a multipurpose room for small or large groups.

Andrew, the son of a veteran Airman, designed the space to promote healing for veterans. The space uses natural light, limits stimuli that can trigger attacks and provides a space for veterans to gather post-service. Andrew’s goal is to create an environment that helps to destigmatize getting treatment for PTSD, and serves as a catalyst for conversation.

Andrew’s project, along with the projects of more than 160 seniors at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, are on view in the virtual MIAD 2021 Senior Exhibition. The exhibition is generously sponsored by BMO Harris Bank. View online at