Play with the Rules

Weaponizing Nature: The Psychological Power of Trees

Fall Conference Proceedings

Author(s): Fionn Byrne

Accepting that differences in environment correspond todifferences in human health, it is understood that landscapearchitects, through the design and improvement of spacesof nature, act to positively shape physical and mental states.Indeed, it is critical to the profession of landscape architectureto make a strong assertion that how nature is designed,and consequently perceived, matters, for if there was nomeasurable difference between the health impacts of a self generating nature and the work of the trained landscapearchitect, then design services would be far less necessary.This being the case, the landscape architect is responsiblefor shaping environments which aim to have a controlled,predictable and measurable impact on the mental healthand well-being of the public. This paper extends the trajectoryof this argument, asking, what if any, is the professionsobligation to contribute design expertise to sites facing thecombined challenges of a significant depression of humanhealth and the loss of nature.

Volume Editors
Jasmine Benyamin, Kyle Reynolds, Mo Zell, Nikole Bouchard & Whitney Moon