Stigsdotter Dissertation Landscape Health

Epic olsson algulin 1990 and may be said to be the

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Unformatted text preview: amp; Algulin, 1990), and may be said to be the world’s oldest description of a healing garden. Although the phenomenon of healing gardens has been part of Western culture for thousands of years, it is first during the latest decade that scientific works have been published in the area. In a 1998 issue of the journal Landscape Architecture, J. William Thompson directed a question at landscape architects: ”/…/ do they yet know enough to shape such gardens so that they really help patients to heal?” (Thompson, 1998). His question was justified. Through its design, a healing garden should be able to support and strengthen a specific patient group and to address its needs. As landscape architects, we must know how we want the garden to heal the patient. In Sweden and other countries, gardens are being laid out that claim to be healing gardens, but that do not have healing effects on patients. One reason for this may be the lack of established and reported knowledge concerning how these gardens should be given shape to meet the needs of different patient groups. Most articles describing how a certain type of healing garden is designed fail to explain why the garden has a particular design or how it is expected to help improve patients’ health. The scarcity of literature on how different healing gardens may and should be designed is a focal problem. In light of the above, however, I wish to present the following work, which stands out from the rest: Healing gardens from 1999 (Cooper Marcus & Barnes, 1999). This work comes from the US, which attests to the country’s leading position within the healing garden movement. Healing Gardens reveals an understanding of the need for collaboration between different scientific and other professional disciplines, such as landscape architecture, psychology, environmental psychology and horticultural therapy. The book also maintains a high scientific standard and includes chapters written by several internationally renowned 12 researchers. Healing Gardens is an extensive and unique work. It tries to connect ideas concerning the shaping of gardens at several different types of healthcare facilities to research results in medicine and environmental psychology. The book emphasizes the need for landscape architects to maintain their focus on the patients. An exposition on a large number of healing gardens at different healthcare facilities points out the advantages and disadvantages of the gardens’ different designs. The work’s weakness, however, consists of its many and long lists of design guidelines – lists that lack a hierarchy indicating what is most important, of secondary importance and what is at the detail level. As an informed reader, I am sometimes unsure as to how valid certain claims are, that is, as to the extent to which they are based on solid evidence. Despite these weaknesses, I consider Healing Gardens to be an important contribution to the literature on the design of healing gardens....
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