nature as a healer
The health benefits of gardens, and how they affect patient’s psychological and emotional state, are well documented by the likes of Ulrich, Cooper-Marcus and Barnes, and more recently through the work done by Stigsdotter and Grahn.
fabrik use Ulrich’s theory of creating ‘a room with a view’, giving patients and staff immediate and physical access to external areas, as a starting point. We then develop client briefs to provide a landscape that re-connects the users with nature. This contact results in positive changes in blood pressure, heart activity, muscle tension and brain electrical activity, fostering restoration and reducing recovery times.
Our research and design development leads us to explore a range of healing gardens that the user can experience as a physical space or room, through a range of activities carried out within that space or, increasingly, a combination of the two. Landscape can also be used to trigger memories, and help the elderly orientate themselves in time and within their surroundings. Building on research for our dementia care homes in Croydon we have developed six key design principles for gardens and outdoor spaces. The principles, drawn from research at Stirling University, have been developed by us in the context of external space.
Our research and design development is ongoing in the Caring sector and we are always seeking new or refined ideas as we maximise the benefits of nature.