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Mental health at the refugees camp @ Chelsea Flower Show 2018 (PART_3)

One of many Chelsea Flower Show Gardens that deserves special attention is The Lemon Tree Garden, which directly referred to the issue of mental health. Inspired by the resilience, originality and determination of refugees living in Domiz camp in Northern Iraq was designed with their involvement and highlights the unexpected beauty and power hidden in the refugee camps. Designer aimed to show how plants can improve people’s wellbeing.

The traditional Islamic style was kept by star shaped water feature, radiating water rills and elaborate metal and wood fretwork screens. Channels of water provide fresh, cooling atmosphere, representing at the same time the importance of reused grey water in the Iraq’s camps. Very simple materials that can be found in real camp such as concrete and steel, were used  . Food plants were placed in cans and recycled plastic bottles attached to a very interesting “innovation wall”.

The planting included the pomegranate trees, figs, single roses, alliums, dazzling blue flowered Anchusa, the impressive lemon tree as well as herbs used in Middle Eastern cooking. These fragrant herbs could have a great impact on mind and mood. All these are reminders of refugees homeland. Resting between them make us more relaxed and smiley.

People in camps create gardens and take care of them with aim to provide food but also to keep themselves in good mental and physical condition. Possibility of growing and taking care of plants, herbs, vegetables is a great chance to socialize what means it improves social functioning and emotional well-being. The garden with its amazing plants can be the gate to escape from cruel reality , bring the solace and positive energy.  The garden is a place that no matter where you are, you can relate to.

The Lemon Tree Trust supports and encourages the refugees to build camp gardens where they can grow food, create sense of beauty; seek and promote, a very important,  community well-being and identity.

Landscape Architect, MLA

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Neuro-urbanism & Neuro-landscape

A new term has officially been introduced in the scientific world – NEUROURBANISM.  It happened together with the  publication in Lancet in Psychiatry in March 2017 [link here].  City life has a lot to do with the psychiatric conditions , and this is the path we have been following in NeuroLandscape as well.

Our cities are growing and we know: City life influences our behavior, our emotions and our psychological well-being. The brain of an urban dweller reacts differently to social stress than that of a rural dweller. Whether this is also the reason for the aggregation of some stress sequelae in cities is a question that we want to answer with Neuro-Urbanism, a new discipline assembling neurologists, urban researchers and architects. 

-Dr Mazda Adli, Director of the Mood Disorders Research Group at the Charité Berlin and Head of the Fliedner Klinik Berlin

We are happy to get involved with the development of this new discipline in regard to urban nature, and the quality of urban environment. We are looking forward to join forces and connect with the interdisciplinary forum of Neurourbanism in Germany.

 

© SingEx | Photography by Lionel Lin

Window View and the Brain – study results

Most people in Asian biggest metropolitan areas live above the ground in multi-storey buildings. Here in Singapore residential blocks can reach up to 50+ floors! Developers try to fit as many housing units on small plots of lands without the consideration of what will be the view from the window. Well, maybe it is about the time for them to reflect on that.

This newest study from researchers of NeuroLandscape shows that the window views depending of the floor level and the amount of visible green can affect the brain activity in a positive or negative way.  This goes along with the scientists claim that the daily passive exposures to the living environment can have tremendous impact on our mental health.

Check out your window view!

Update! The paper from this study is already published online in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, click here to read!

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An exclusive interview with Professor Chang, Chun-Yen, NTU, UIUC

Happy to share the newest interview from one of the world’s leading experts in the area of evidence-based landscape design, Prof. Chang, Chun-Yen from National Taiwan University.
Professor Chang’s background is in landscape architecture, but his research interests have led him far beyond this discipline into examining the relationships between landscapes and human health in multidisciplinary teams. He is the Director of the “Laboratory of Healthy Landscape Healthy People East” at NTU, which is cooperating with a western group from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
 
We had the pleasure to speak to Professor Chang after his presentation at the IFLA World Congress 2018 in Singapore, and ask him questions about the newest research endeavors of his team, the demands and limitations of clinical studies on landscapes, the challenges of interdisciplinary research and future opportunities in the area.

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See what Contemplative Landscapes do to your brain!

Highly Contemplative Landscapes alter the brainwaves pattern of the people exposed to them!

More about the mechanisms of this phenomenon and how we discovered it can be found in this peer-reviewed paper published recently by Frontiers in Psychiatry, Public Mental Health section.

Full text already available for free here!

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00317/full

 

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Interview with Gayle Souter-Brown

Our first update of IFLA 2018 is an exclusive interview with Gayle Souter-Brown. Gayle is a Principle  of Greenstone Design UK & Ecological Victoria University of Wellington, landscape architect, writer and researcher.  This interview will share her experiences in the social, economic, and environmental benefits of developing green space for health and well being,

For more information on IFLA 2018, click here: http://neurolandscape.org/2018/07/13/ifla-world-congress-singapore-2018/

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NeuroLandscape @ IFLA World Congress

Yesterday marks the end of the 2 day IFLA World Congress 2018.

Here at NeuroLandscape, we can't wait to update everyone with all the exciting events that happened over the 2 days. There will be more detailed spotlights in the weeks to come, but here is a quick glimpse of NeuroLandscape @IFLA.

The IFLA Congress venue was truly impressive this year, acomodated almost entire top floor of Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center. Invited keynote speakers   included Minister of National Development, Mr. Lawrence Wong and even Prof. Timothy Beatley,  researcher and writer who first introduced the green urbanism concept and introduced the biophilic cities network. He stressed the importance of LIVING IN NATURE for health, instead of just visiting the nature from time to time.

The following session was lead by  Dr Cheong Koon Hean, the Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Housing & Development Board (HDB) announcing the updated Biophillic Town Framework. In many ways, the Biophillic Town Framework is especially critical of an achievement to us .  At times, it can be easy to question ourselves. While members of NeuroLandscape were directly involved in its inception, the significance of HDB adopting this framework is far greater than just that.  This is absolute proof of the value of our research and the potential of a better tomorrow that it can bring. It shows that we are not alone in what we strive to do.

Interview with Gayle Souter - Brown

Gayle is a Principle  of Greenstone Design UK & Ecological Victoria, landscape architect, writer and researcher. She is one of our esteemed Advisory Board Members. Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with her as she shares her extensive insight with us!

Living Landscape and Brain Reactions
Prof. Chang, Chun-Yen from Taiwan National University, "Healthy Landscapes Healthy People's Lab" shares his current research interests in this special interview brought to you by Nicolas Escoffier. Coming up soon on out youtube channel!

 

Student Competition and Design Award

Dr. Agnieszka O. Guizzo had the privilege of being one of the design facilitators for this student design competition.  Below is a picture of her taking a group photo with one of the student teams. The students were greatly intrigued by the idea of contemplative landscapes and even incorporated it into their design!

The IFLA World Congress 2018 concluded with a Paper Presentation Session. Dr. Agnieszka O. Guizzo, joined by several other presenters like Prof. Liao Kuei-Hsien, they shared their findings with an attentive crowd and ended the day with a fruitful discussion.  More details about Dr. Agnieszka O. Guizzo's Window View and the Brain and Prof. Liao Kuei-Hsien's Landscape Design with Ecosystem services in High Density Cities will be coming soon.

 

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IFLA World Congress Singapore 2018

Next week, from 18th to the 21st of July, The International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) is returning to Singapore for the 2nd time to host the prestigious IFLA World Congress. The IFLA World Congress prides itself as the key contributor in landscape architectures, developing attractive, livable, equitable, and sustainable environments of the future. Many of its project revolve around the themes of: Biophilic City, Smart Nation, and Future Resilience.

 

But who are the IFLA? 

The International Federation of Landscape Architects, also known as IFLA is an international body spanning across 4 regions of the world: Africa, America, Asia Pacific, and Europe. Their vision is to spearhead the development of global sustainability in living environment by landscaping architecture.  And this year the main conference thenes ate Biophilic City, Smart Nation, and Future Resilience. There is going to be an entire presentation session on “Greenery and Health” too!

As such, it is our pleasure to announce that NeuroLandscape ‘s President Dr. Agnieszka Olszewska-Guizzo will be presenting the study: WINDOW VIEW  &  BRAIN:  Can Floor Level and Amount of Green within the View Have an Effect on Our Well-Being?”  on 19th July at 5pm (Venue: Biophilic Room, Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, 1 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018971)

Come say hi : )

 

http://iflaonline.org/

http://www.ifla2018.com/

 

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Virtual Reality Applications

Virtual Reality (VR) has long been a subject of interest for many to be the next phase of immersive entertainment. While many see it as an unnecessary gimmick, VR was never just a fad.  With history dating as early as the 1860’s, VR has time and time again resurfaced more advanced and more capable.

In 2016, IKEA took their furniture experience a step further  with Virtual Reality Kitchens.  This  effectively means that anyone can sample countless different iterations of their own kitchen. This could allow customers to make well informed decisions before they make their purchasers. Yet, this application is not limited to kitchens only. With the application of VR, it is possible to recreate many external events indoors, including contemplative landscapes. While current capabilities may not be fully optimized, the potential for VR to recreate the theraputic experiences of contemplative landscapes is a exploration worth investing in.

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EKLIPSE Expert meeting, London

This is an interview with three members of EKLIPSE project talking about the latest Expert Group meeting in London which brought us closer to the final output of a project related to answering the question on which types and components of urban green and blue spaces have significant influence on human mental health and well-being.