Trauma-informed Designer

Patrick Brewis is a trauma-informed designer who also has extensive development experience (and a professional actor to boot) in Metro Detroit and New York City. Patrick began designing as a kid stashing his floor plans and facades in a bottom dresser drawer, but his first drafting class was a bust (it was auto-centric) and he turned to acting, designing characters instead. Upon graduation from Wayne State with his BFA in Theatre, he then began his career as a professional actor-singer-dancer performing in Los Angeles, Florida, New York City and the UK. Gaining transferable skills from his education and experience, Patrick subsequently applied them to create success in sales, marketing, creative events, fundraising, then ultimately in design and project management.

Patrick has designed and managed multiple projects for residential, hospitality, commercial spaces, a 21st century urban boarding school in Detroit, and a $13.5M renovation and restoration of an historic 19th century church in New York City. Using trauma-informed design, he works closely with client and contractor seeking to understand the interconnectedness of built space and its end-users, what they will use the space for and how they interact with it resulting in a healing and aesthetically gorgeous environment.

Understanding that Avalon has been exemplary in realizing, recognizing, responding and actively resisting re-traumatization of patients and clients who come to them for help, Patrick knows it is imperative to integrate trauma-informed design in this new facility to elevate Avalon’s comprehensive trauma-informed response to survivors of sexual assault.

Simply put, trauma-informed design means to do no further harm in creating the built environment and understanding that sensitive design actually provides healing; through biophilic design (direct experience to nature using greenscapes, water features, natural light, etc.), color selections, wall and furniture placement, textures, flow, wayfinding, and on and on. Each aspect of Patrick’s design is intentional in its desire for inclusion, healing and safety. Patrick is honored to be a part of Avalon’s journey and humbled by the challenge to help sexual assault survivors on their healing journey with trauma-informed design.