Bringing Forest Bathing to the rooftop
Art Center students are stressed, busy, and tired – working hard to reach their goals and build their portfolio. ArtCenter Extension and the South campus building is very industrial feeling, grey and cold with white walls, cement, metal and pipes surrounding students, in contrast to the main Art Center campus – lush natural environment and open landscape.
Forest bathing helps people slow down and become immersed in the natural environment through tuning in your senses, taking a moment to breathe, clear out the clutter in your mind, and open your eyes to a refreshed and re-energized landscape.
This technique is used as a stress-reduction, mental health, mood and immunity boosting strategy to help bring peace, sanctuary, balance, and simplistic living to peoples lives.
To relieve stress and inspire creativity, my concept is to bring a place that help students feel more natural through nature in a forest-bathing like experience.
The Experience and
The audience feels like they are walking through a gate, leaving behind their anxiety and stress, into the open, comforting arms of nature and peace with its beauty, textures, sounds, and smells.
This is a place where you can be just the way you are, and just be.
Following a trail, the experience takes you through stations of herbs to stop, smell, and pick flavors to your senses delight. The trail leads you to a central bamboo forest - a place to stop, feel safe, put your toes in the sand, touch nature and feel a fresh breeze with fragrant air around you.
The bamboo forest is a place where your mind, eyes, ears and body can rest. Your eyes are not disrupted by screens, fluorescent lights, white walls, and shiny surfaces, but get to rest by looking far into what seems like a place of infinity, like looking up through the top of tall bamboo trees, into the sky. Your ears get a moment of peace without alerts and notifications ringing, taking a moment to hear birds chirping, water flowing, and leaves falling. This sensory experience acts as the first solo activity.
Next, shake off the stress and become one with your senses at the sound healing activity.
Create your own music with friends using natural materials, chimes, and bass pads powered by kinetic energy. Run your hands through chimes to create a melody, become your own shaker with a handful of beans or bowl, and make your own beat through stepping and jumping on bass pads. After, listen to yours and others creations in the sound healing and tea sitting area.
Lastly, you are introduced to an immersive experience tea ritual.
Taste may seem like the primary sense involved in tea, but tasting tea requires an appreciation of sound, touch, visual beauty and smell, all feeding into each other. Through creating your own personal flavor, picking up the leaves, feeling the texture of the tea buds, smelling the aroma, appreciating the sounds of the tea ritual, the rumbling boil of a kettle, the pouring of water, slowly taking a sip to really taste all the flavors, and finally taking a deep exhale, you are immersed in the tea and truly tasting it for the first time.
Have a moment to yourself or with friends as you sip your freshly made tea and listen to sound healing recordings in the sitting area, featuring a motion sensor, soft, trickling waterfall activated with a wave of your hand. Feel the water and let all of your senses be activated. With low seating, the music of natural elements, and the sound of water, the outside noise of the city streets fade away. leaving you in serene solitude.
Materials and Colors